Michelin will build another OTR plant in S.C.

April 10, 2012

In what it calls its "biggest manufacturing news in more than 15 years,"  Michelin North America Inc. will not only build a new OTR tire plant in Anderson, S.C., but also expand production at its OTR tire facility in Lexington, S.C.

The two projects represent a $750 million investment and will create up to 500 new jobs. (Last May, the company announced it was expanding production at its Lexington, S.C., consumer tire plant; see "Michelin will invest $200 million in S.C.")

Michelin, the largest manufacturing employer in the state, will break ground on the new earthmover tire manufacturing plant next week. It will be adjacent to Michelin’s existing rubber processing plant in Starr, S.C., and will be the third Michelin plant in Anderson County. The company also operates a 2.5 million-square-foot rubber processing plant in Sandy Springs, S.C.

“Michelin intends to maintain and strengthen its leadership in all its specialty businesses, especially earthmover radial tires,” said Jean-Dominique Senard, managing general partner of Groupe Michelin, at a press conference held at Michelin North America headquarters in Greenville, S.C., on April 10, 2012.

“The market for earthmover tires grew by more than 20% between 2009 and 2011. This new facility will help us meet sustained demand while also attaining our growth objectives for 2015.”

"It’s a tribute to the productivity of our employees and the pro-business environment in South Carolina that the company is expanding its earthmover capacity in the state where we first began manufacturing in the United States,” said Michelin North America Chairman and President Pete Selleck.

The new plant will be Michelin’s 19th manufacturing facility and 14th tire facility in North America, and ninth in South Carolina. More than 8,000 of Michelin North America’s 22,300 employees are based in South Carolina.

The 14-year-old Lexington OTR plant has the capacity to produce 90 earthmover tires a day, according to the 2012 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue. Expansion of the plant will begin in October.

“Nearly every earthmover tire is sold before it is produced,“ said Selleck. “Michelin is one of very few companies in the world that is able to produce these high technology tires.”

Also attending the press conference were South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley; U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); and a number of officials representing Anderson and Lexington Counties.