The Michelin Man was conceived by the Michelin brothers Andre and Edouard in the 1890s, who remarked, on seeing a pile of tyres: Look, with arms it would be a man.
The famous poster that launched Bibendum's career was illustrated by the cartoonist Marius Rossillon, aka O'Galop. Here is some more of his work for Michelin:
Quite the ladies' man - and look at those shapely calves!
Don't drink/smoke and drive? Ah, well.
You can have my spare tyre?
Spot the Beau Geste influence. Or was it The Desert Song?
Ton-up tyreman? No helmet necessary.
And he's still popular today with the meme set.
Maybe all this goes to show that sometimes random, intuitive thoughts ("...it would be a man") lead to better longevity for company logos and mascots than painstaking definition of brand values, essences and character traits and the careful construction of brand models.
Bibendum is a character that has taken his company from bike tyres to the 21st century 'mobility' market. I'll leave you with a picture of him and some of his advertising chums having a bit of a shindig on the London Underground.