Michelin North America, the largest manufacturing employer in South Carolina, is investing $750 million on a new Earthmover tire manufacturing plant in Anderson County, S.C. and expansion of its existing tire facility in Lexington.
Increasing production of the Greenville, South Carolina-based firm's line of huge Earthmover tires, used on big trucks and construction vehicles, will create an estimated 500 new jobs. Michelin is no stranger to the state. Last year the manufacturer invested $200 million in its Lexington passenger and light truck tire manufacturing facility, creating an estimated 270 jobs.
"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 Michelin. "The market for Earthmover tires grew by more than 20 percent between 2009 and 2011. This new facility will help us meet sustained demand while also attaining our growth objectives for 2015."
Michelin North America's Chairman and President Pete Selleck said "there is unprecedented demand for Michelin Earthmover tires throughout the world. 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."
"Michelin has been part of the economic and social fabric of South Carolina for decades and remains one of our finest corporate citizens," said Gov. Nikki Haley. "It really is a great day in South Carolina when our largest manufacturer reaffirms its commitment to the state."
The new Earthmover tire plant 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, the largest in the world, in Sandy Springs.
While details of incentives approved for Michelin's expansion have been kept a closely guarded secret by government officials and the company, the state traditionally offers tax credits based on job creation and facility investment. Some published reports stated the state offered the Michelin from $7.6 million to $9 million in incentives to expand in the state.