FORT WAYNE, Ind. (March 22, 2011)—Michelin North America Inc. is investing $50 million to upgrade equipment and expand capacity at its BFGoodrich Tire passenger and light truck tire plant in Woodburn, Ind.
The investment in the 1.9 million-sq.-ft. facility will add about 35 jobs, the tire maker said. The plant employs 1,580.
Plant Manager Dent Johnson said the investment enables Michelin to “upgrade the flexibility and capability of this facility to help improve its long-term competitiveness.”
Michelin did not elaborate on the size of the capacity expansion. The plant's capacity is listed as 24,000 units a day.
In December, Michelin acknowledged it was laying the groundwork for improvements to the Woodburn factory after United Steelworkers Local 715 President Jim Wetzel told the local paper the company was investing $77 million to improve the 50-year-old building. Michelin at the time declined to comment on the investment or what the improvements would be.
The facility opened in 1961. Upgrades and expansion work will begin immediately, according to Michelin.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance compiled a competitive incentive package to help secure the investment worth more than $3 million—including a personal and real property tax abatement of $2.1 million—which was approved by the Allen County Council Jan. 20.
The incentive offers were a cumulative effort that came from Allen County, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and WorkOne Northeast.