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Michelin earmarks additional funds for Ardmore, Okla., plant

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Michelin North America Inc. will invest an additional $144 million in its Ardmore, Okla., passenger and light truck tire manufacturing plant.

In January 2002, Michelin announced it would invest $56 million in the facility to upgrade upgrade equipment. Michelin's total pending investment in the plant is $200 million.

The additional investment will be aimed at increasing the plant’s capacity for producing larger tire sizes.

"Increasingly, automakers and the public are demanding larger tires, more high performance tires and more SUV tires," says Pete Selleck, chief operating officer of Michelin Americas Small Tires. "The investments we are planning will position us to meet those demands."

The latest investment decision is a direct result of the economic incentive program offered by the state of Oklahoma. It is contingent upon Michelin receiving the

state-funded incentive package.

"The state's commitment to Michelin will help us maintain the edge we need to be competitive," says Armore's plant manager, Gary Scheide.

The Ardmore plant, established in 1969, has a plant capacity of 33,000 radial tires per day, according to Modern Tire Dealer's 2003 Facts Issue. The tires are supplied to both the original equipment and replacement markets.

The 1.5 million-square-foot plant employs about 1,841 people.

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