STARR, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. is suspending operations at its Starr off-the-road tire manufacturing facility by the end of 2015.
The plant, which opened two years ago, employs 100. Michelin said the employees will be offered jobs at other Michelin factories in the area. The firm operates nine other manufacturing plants in South Carolina, including another earthmover facility in Lexington, S.C., which is about 100 miles east of Starr.
A company spokeswoman said in an email that Michelin suspended production at Starr in response to excess capacity in the mining sector. She said mining companies worldwide have been hit by falling commodity prices and slower growth.
The firm plans to maintain the plant and keep its equipment on standby in order to restart it once global mining market conditions and demand improve. A Michelin spokeswoman said the firm will be able to restart in a timely manner because it will carefully maintain the facility while shuttered.
Michelin said its OTR plant in Lexington, S.C., has enough capacity to meet current demand. It recently invested $750 million over several years to build the Starr plant and expand capacity at Lexington.
The firm also produces earthmover tires at its facility in Vitoria, Spain. The spokeswoman said the capacities at Lexington and Vitoria will not be affected.