Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will upgrade its passenger and light truck tire plant in Fayetteville, N.C., with the help of up to $30 million in grants from the state Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund.

The $30 million grant from the state is in exchange for Godyear making at least $180 million in capital improvements at the site, in addition to retaining the 2,000 jobs there.

Goodyear plans to update the plant to manufacture tires of at least 17 inches in size. The company refers to those as "high-value-added tires." According to Modern Tire Dealer statistics, the plant produces 41,500 tires a day.

Goodyear says the "investments in Fayetteville will help increase our capabilities to meet customer demand for our tiers, including premium large rrim diameter consumer tires."

The tire maker received the same $30 million grant from the state in 2008.

The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee approved the awarding of the grant money — up to $3 million per year for 10 years. The Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund awards discretionary money in annual grants to businesses that qualify as a major employer, or a large manufacturing employer. Goodyear is one of Cumberland County's largest private employers.

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