Michelin celebrates grand opening of agricultural tire facility

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Months after beginning initial production, Michelin North America Inc. (MNA) celebrated the opening of its radial agricultural tire facility in Lexington, S.C.

The tires are being manufactured in what Michelin calls "a special area" connected to its three-year-old earthmover tire plant. The expansion cost $30 million.

Michelin will begin full-scale agricultural tire production for the OE and replacement markets at the facility by summer's end.

Michelin introduced its line of agricultural tires for the North American market in 1997. The Michelin brand has a 4% share of the replacement radial rear farm tire market in the United States, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics.

“This is a fine day for Michelin and South Carolina,” said Jim Micali, MNA chairman and president. “We are proud to celebrate this newest addition to our North American production capabilities and our eighth manufacturing location in South Carolina.”

“We now have the opportunity to share the benefits of radialization with the growing North American agricultural market,” said Jean-Louis Jourdan, chief operating officer, Michelin Agricultural Tires.

On hand for the ribbon-cutting were Jim Hodges, South Carolina governor; Charles S. Way Jr., secretary of commerce for the South Carolina Department of Commerce; and Jake Knotts, chairman of the Lexington County legislative delegation.

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