AKRON-Goodyear plans to build a tire mold plant in Statesville, N.C., the first manufacturing facility to be built by the tire maker in the U.S. since 1983. The $14 million plant will produce molds for the firm's growing passenger and truck tire lines, Goodyear said.
Construction on the 50,000-sq.-ft. factory will begin this fall. Operations are expected to begin in the second quarter of 1996.
Goodyear's only U.S. mold facility is in Stow, Ohio, an Akron suburb. The firm operates other mold plants in Brazil and Luxembourg.
``The new plant is needed to concentrate on the development of advanced mold technology without disrupting production at our Stow mold plant,'' said Clay Orme, vice president of worldwide manufacturing for the tire maker.
Eighty new jobs will be created at the Statesville plant, but that number should grow to about 180, a company spokesman said.
Much of the early work at the Statesville factory will be developmental and experimental in nature, Mr. Orme said.
The company released few details about the new mold production method at the plant, saying only that it involved computer-generated drawings using a proprietary Goodyear process.
Statesville, located about 60 miles north of Charlotte, was selected from about 40 sites in six states, the spokesman said.
The last manufacturing unit to be built by Goodyear in the U.S. was in North Carolina-a factory in Asheboro that produces steel wire for radial truck tires.