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$50 million will add capacity, says Michelin

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Michelin North America Inc. is investing an additional $50 million to upgrade equipment and expand production capacity at the company’s Woodburn, Ind., consumer tire plant.

Run by Michelin's BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing division, the facility has the capacity to produce 29,000 passenger and light truck tires a day, according to the 2011 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue.

The expansion, which already has begun, will add approximately 35 new jobs to the local economy (Woodburn is located in metropolitan Fort Wayne, Ind.). The announcement was made earlier today during a ceremony at the City-County building in Fort Wayne.

“We are deeply grateful to the state of Indiana, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Allen County Department of Planning Services, as well as the County Council and County Commissioners, WorkOne Northeast and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, all of whom were influential in helping to secure this investment,” said Dent Johnson, plant manager.

“This investment enables us to increase production capacity while continuing to deliver high-quality products to our customers. It will also upgrade the flexibility and capability of this facility to help improve its long-term competitiveness.”

Mitch Roob, secretary of commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said Michelin's continued investment is "a direct reflection of the dedication of the Northeast Indiana workers."

The 1,900,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 1961, produces BFGoodrich consumer tires. It currently employs 1,580 people.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance compiled a competitive incentive package worth more than $3 million to help secure the investment. The package included a personal and real property tax abatement of $2.1 million, which was approved by the Allen County Council on Jan. 20, 2011.

Michelin North America employs 21,400 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations. For more information, visit www.michelin-us.com.

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