LEXINGTON, S.C. (May 9, 2011)-Michelin North America Inc. will invest $200 million over two years to boost capacity at its passenger/light truck tire plant in Lexington, a project that will create 270 jobs at the 30-year-old factory.
Michelin did not say how much the project would affect car tire capacity, which is put at 24,000 units a day, but Michelin Chairman and President Dick Wilkerson said in a company press statement that, in particular, it has need for high-performance tires to meet rising demand.
Work is scheduled to begin immediately, Michelin said, so as to be completed before mid-2013. The new jobs would expand the plant's work force to 1,630 employees.
Michelin did not say if the project would require expanding the size of the plant, which stands at 1.2 million square feet. The Greenville, S.C.-based tire maker also operates an 825,000-sq.-ft. earthmover tire plant at the Lexington site, with 475 employees.
The company did not say what, if any, financial or logistical assistance it may be receiving from the state or local municipalities, but Wilkerson noted that the Lexington County Council and the state of South Carolina “have been effective partners with us, working to make this expansion and the new jobs that support it a reality.”
Bobby Hitt, South Carolina's Secretary of Commerce, said Michelin's decision is “another indication that our state's business-friendly climate is working to attract investment from manufacturing companies and create jobs.”
Michelin said it has invested more than $1 billion at the Lexington site in the past 30 years, including $90 million budgeted in 2008 to upgrade equipment and expand capacity.