Michelin boosts truck tire output BALLYMENA, Northern Ireland—Group Michelin is investing nearly $20 million to expand radial truck tire capacity at its Ballymena plant by 30 percent to meet high demand in North America.
The project, to take place over 18 months, will add equipment and update machinery at Ballymena, where 80 percent of production has been dedicated for export to North America since early 1998, a spokesman for the company said.
Prior to this expansion, Ballymena's output was estimated at between 2,000 and 2,500 tires a day, or more than 750,000 per year. Michelin does not comment on production capacities at its plants.
The plant, which is located on a 112-acre site, is not being enlarged physically, a spokesman said. The company has hired 115 new workers, however, bringing total employment at the factory to around 1,350.
Michelin is making a substantial investment in new equipment and machinery at the factory, according to Patrick Leperog, Michelin's director of regional services in northern Europe. While Mr. Leperog did not elaborate, the spokesman said some of the investment is earmarked for new curing presses and molds for U.S.-specification tires.
The $20 million expansion brings Michelin's investment at the site over the last 10 years to about $147 million, the spokesman said.
The Northern Ireland operation is one of four Michelin tire plants in the United Kingdom.
Titan to buy Wheels India stock
QUINCY, Ill.—Titan International Inc. has signed an agreement with BTR for the acquisition of 35.9 percent of the stock of Wheels India Ltd.
Wheels India is one of the largest manufacturers of steel wheels for all applications in India, operating facilities in Madras and Poona. The purchase gives Titan a leading position in one of the largest markets for agricultural tractor production.
The acquisition is subject to Indian regulatory approval and will lead to a public offer by Titan. The public offer and regulatory issues are anticipated to take several months to resolve.
Berlin to hold dealer gathering
BERLIN—Thirty countries are expected to attend what is believed to be the largest international gathering of tire dealers this April.
The International Tyre Traders Summit and its sister event, the interTREAD Summit, will take place in Berlin. Attendees are expected from several new countries, including Japan, Panama, Malaysia, Lithuania, Sweden, Lebanon and Ukraine.