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Opelika closing could remove up to 26K units

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Opelika closing could remove up to 26K units

The closing of Michelin North America Inc.'s Opelika, Ala., plant will potentially remove 26,000 passenger and light truck tire units from the company's daily production, according to Modern Tire Dealer research.

Yesterday, April 13, Michelin announced plans to close the 46-year-old factory by Oct. 31, 2009. The plant can produce 20,000 passenger and 6,000 light truck tires at full bore.

The decision to close the factory "comes in the wake of the continuing economic crisis as consumers are driving fewer miles, purchasing fewer vehicles and delaying tire replacement purchases," say MNA officials.

In terms of production numbers, Opelika is Michelin's fifth largest North American plant. The company's biggest North American plant is its Ardmore, Okla., facility, which has a daily production capacity of 43,000 units.

Michelin's Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; and Fort Wayne, Ind., factories each have daily production capacities of 28,000 units.

Opelika is Michelin's third oldest plant in North America, behind Tuscaloosa (64 years old) and Fort Wayne (48 years old).

Michelin has not disclosed the savings it expects to realize due to Opelika's closing.

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