BAD KREUZNACH, Germany—Michelin has started the production of larger-rim sized tires at its manufacturing plant in Bad Kreuznach, located an hour to the east of Frankfurt.
A new production line at the facility manufactures 18- and 19-inch tire sizes, Michelin said in a Sept. 4 statement, adding that the new sizes reflected the current trend towards larger tires in the premium segment.
"Given the developments in the European market, investing in this modernization is crucial to our competitiveness," Plant Manager Christian Metzger said.
As part of the plant upgrade, the new production line has replaced the old machinery for 14- and 15-inch tires, demand for which has "fallen significantly," according to Michelin.
The Bad Kreuznach project team dismantled the old systems in the summer of 2018 and began preparing the construction site in the factory building in December, Michelin said.
The upgraded production hall now features "highly automated" tire transport systems and electrical vulcanization equipment.
The investment, amounting to "tens of millions of euros" is part of the Future Pact, signed between Michelin and its employee representatives to strengthen German locations amid European competition.
Michelin expects to start the commercial-scale production of 18- and 19-inch tires at the plant "in the coming weeks."