SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico—Goodyear broke ground July 28 at a formal ceremony for the first plant it will build in the Americas in a quarter of a century.
The 1 million-plus-sq.-ft. plant, representing an investment of up to $550 million, will be built on a 94-acre plot of land in an industrial zone on the southern edge of the city of San Luis Potosi in central Mexico.
The cornerstone will be laid in November, and the facility will be operational by July 2017, Martin Rosales, president and managing director of Goodyear Mexico, told dignitaries attending the ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jean-Claude Kihn, president of Goodyear Latin America since November, said the plant will have an annual production capacity of 6 million high-value-added tires, such as the Eagle F1 performance passenger and Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar light truck/SUV tires.
Rosales said Goodyear has signed an agreement with the CTM trade union, which will offer its representation to the plant's 1,000 blue-collar workers—most of whom will be local residents.
The CTM—Confederacion de Trabajadores de Mexico (National Confederation of Labor Unions)—was founded in 1936 and was once notorious for its belligerence. However, CTM-led strikes are a rarity today.
Asked for details of any financial incentives that Goodyear may have received from Mexico's federal, state and/or municipal governments to support its investment in a plant in Mexico, Rosales demurred before stating that infrastructure, including railroads, highways and inland customs services, and the “seriousness” of Mexican authorities were more important than financial incentives.