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Michelin will invest $200 million in S.C.

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Demand for Michelin passenger tires in North America continues to grow. Michelin North America Inc. is investing $200 million in its Lexington, S.C., facility to further expand its tire building capacity.

The plant currently produces 19,000 passenger tires per day, according to the 2011 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue. The tire maker has already invested more than $1 billion in the site since it was first established in 1981.

This latest project, for which all equipment will be installed by the first half of 2013, will create 270 new jobs, phased in over the next two years. Work will begin immediately.

“Trusted for its quality and value, the Michelin brand was quite resilient during the recent economic crisis,” says Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America Inc. “As the economy turned, demand for our tires increased dramatically. We must have additional capacity for high performance passenger car tires to meet our customers’ needs. We’re thrilled that the expansion will be in our home state of South Carolina. The Lexington County Council and the state of South Carolina have been effective partners with us, working to make this expansion and the new jobs that support it a reality.”

Michelin’s Lexington passenger and light truck tire facility currently employs 1,360 people in 1.2 million square feet. Michelin also operates an earthmover tire plant at the site, employing 475 people in 825,000 square feet.

For more on Michelin financials, see MTD Editor Bob Ulrich’s editorial, My beliefs, not make-believe.

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