PARIS (Feb. 15) — Michelin North America Inc. will invest $26 million in its Greenville, S.C., passenger and light truck tire plant through 2008 to expand capacity 20 percent.
The investment, announced in Paris Feb. 14 by Group Michelin Chairman Edouard Michelin, is part of the firm´s strategy to "muscle up" its western manufacturing sites through modernization and efficiency efforts.
The investment will focus primarily on process improvements to improve productivity, a Michelin North America spokeswoman said. This will include some new equipment and could involve some "selective hiring," she said.
The non-union Greenville plant, known locally as U.S. 1, lists capacity at 24,000 units a day with 1,550 employees.
Michelin last disclosed a specific investment at the Greenville plant in 1999/2000, when it budgeted $90 million to convert a portion of plant´s passenger tire capacity to light truck/recreational tire output and expand mold-making capacity.
Michelin did, however, invest more than $300 million last year in its facilities, according to Jim Micali, president and chairman of the North American unit.