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Michelin's OTR plant will soon make tires

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Michelin's OTR plant will soon make tires

Michelin North America Inc. marked the opening of its newest manufacturing facility in South Carolina on Dec. 12, 2013. Michelin executives and employees were joined by dozens of dignitaries from across the state to celebrate the milestone: Just 17 months after breaking ground, the Anderson County earthmover tire manufacturing facility can build tires.

The project completion is the fastest greenfield construction in Michelin’s history. The company officially begins production of commercially available tires in January 2014 for sale in mid-2014.

Michelin, South Carolina’s largest manufacturing employer, announced a $750 million investment in April 2012 to construct the 800,000-square-foot facility and expand its existing earthmover manufacturing plant in Lexington, S.C.

“Michelin continues to make investments in multiple countries around the world that will position our company for long-term growth,” said Pete Selleck, Michelin North America chairman and president. “It’s a source of pride to know that what we’re doing right here in South Carolina plays such an important role in our company’s global business strategy."

 The new facility, known as US10, is Michelin’s 19th plant in North America and ninth in the state of South Carolina. It will produce large earthmover tires -- as high as 13 feet tall weighing as much as 5.5 tons -- for more than 1,300 mining operations around the world. Eighty percent of the tires manufactured at this facility will be exported, most of it through the Port of Charleston, S.C.

“These tires are no ordinary ones, and they cannot be built just anywhere by just anyone,” said Bruce Brackett, senior vice president, Michelin Earthmover & Industrial Tires Worldwide. "The fact is, the Michelin Earthmover tire is a highly sophisticated product to develop and build, and today South Carolina is the leader for the vast Michelin Group.”

Since 1975, Michelin has invested more than $5 billion in the state of South Carolina. The company has announced investments of $1.15 billion in the last two years alone. More than 8,000 of Michelin North America’s 22,000 employees are based in the state.

“Today is another example of Michelin’s 40-year commitment to the state of South Carolina,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “With billions invested in our state, the creation of thousands of jobs and countless community-focused activities that have enriched the lives of South Carolinians, Michelin has set a high standard for manufacturing in our state.”

The new Earthmover tire plant is adjacent to Michelin’s existing rubber processing plant in Starr, S.C., and is the third Michelin plant in Anderson County. The company also operates a 2.5 million-square-foot rubber processing plant, the largest in the world, in Sandy Springs.

In addition to the Lexington and Anderson County plants, Michelin produces earthmover tires in Waterville, Canada; Campo Grande, Brazil; Le Puy-en-Velay and Montceau, France; Vitoria, Spain; and Zalau, Romania.

"The opening of this new Michelin plant once again shows South Carolina remains a global player when it comes to manufacturing," said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. "But it also underscores the critical importance to our state’s economy of deepening Charleston Harbor as 80% of the products made here will be exported overseas. If we want to continue growing our economy and expanding our workforce, we need Charleston Harbor deepened.”

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