Michelin and Tigar want to expand capacity

April 2, 2012

Groupe Michelin and its Tigar Tyres subsidiary signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Serbian authorities and the City of Pirot on April 2, 2012, to expand production capacity at the Tigar Tyres plant in Pirot, Serbia.

The memorandum of understanding calls for increasing production capacity at the plant from 8 million tires in 2012 to 12 million tires by the end of 2016. The plant produces and will continue to produce exclusively entry-level tires that are sold under the Tigar, Kormoran and Riken brands, all of which are in the Michelin brand portfolio.

Work to expand the plant is expected to begin in early 2013; the first tires are expected to roll off the new production lines in the middle of 2015. Most of the tires produced will supply the fast-growing Russian and CIS markets, as well as markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Overall, the project will represent an investment of $227 million, based on the April 2, 2012, exchange rate. Over the long term, the new unit will lead to the creation of 700 jobs in Pirot.

This investment project is in line with the company’s growth strategy as Groupe Michelin strengthens its offering of entry-level tires. Over the next 10 years, Michelin says this market segment is expected to grow by 30% worldwide.

The memorandum of understanding was signed in the Tigar Tyres plant in Pirot. The event was attended by Boris Tadić, president of the Republic of Serbia; Nebojša Ćirić, minister of the economy, Vladan Vasić, mayor of Pirot, and Eric Faidy, chairman of the board of Tigar Tyres.