QUERETARO, Mexico—For the first time, Michelin-brand tires are being produced in Mexico.
The completion of a production upgrade at the firm´s Queretaro tire plant, the outgrowth of strong demand in Mexico, means Michelin-brand tires sold in the nation won´t all be imports, according to Michelin North America Inc.
"In the past three years, Michelin´s replacement tire sales in Mexico have jumped more than 60 percent, outpacing the market more than six times," said Jim Micali, chairman and president of Michelin. "Mexico is one of the top 10 tire markets in the world, growing at almost twice the rate of the U.S. market."
Micali said it is crucial that the company have domestic production in Mexico to meet demand and increase its total North American capacity.
The company unveiled a new Michelin sign at the plant, signifying its certification to produce the Michelin brand.
Earlier this year, Michelin said it also would build a plant in Queretaro adjacent to the passenger tire plant. That factory will produce tread rubber for retreading commercial truck tires. It is slated to open in spring 2007 with 120 employees.
Michelin´s work force in Mexico represents about 5 percent of its total in North America.