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Michelin: A Second Plant in Mexico?

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Michelin Group may be planning to build a $510 million plant in central Mexico to produce around 5 million passenger and light truck tires a year mostly for the North American market.

Michelin North America Inc. spokesperson Eric Bruner declined to comment on the report published by the Reuters news agency. He stated the company had “nothing further to add” to the Reuters report in an email response to Modern Tire Dealer’s inquiries.

According to Reuters, the plant will:

* be located in the state of Guanajuato;

* produce passenger and light truck tires mostly for the North American market and also for Europe and Asia;

* create 1,000 jobs;

* begin production in 2017; and

* have the capacity to double production by 2020.

Michelin announced plans to build a $740 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Guanajuato in August 2007. At the time, Jim Micali, then the chairman and president of Michelin North America, said Mexico was “the fastest-growing market in North America, where Michelin has experienced considerable success.” The project was cancelled one year later. The company said it had decided to “adjust its production capacity in North America due to the decline of regional tire markets.”

The company operates a plant in Queretaro, Mexico, which produces tires for cars, utility vehicles, and SUVs and has 365 employees. Capacity at the Queretaro plant is 6 million tires.

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