RENO, Nev. (March 25, 2002)— Michelin North America Inc. plans to close its C3M-based tire plant in Reno by May 31 and consolidate C3M production in the U.S. at its Greenville, S.C., plant. Michelin will keep open a 200,000-sq.ft. warehouse on the same Reno site.
Michelin said the move was prompted by increasing demand for high-performance and sport-utility vehicle tires, and C3M is particularly suited to manufacturing such tires, which tend to be made in smaller lots that require more flexible production. Michelin opened the plant in October 1997 as part of plan to establish smaller, regional tire plants.
The closing will affect 150 workers in Reno, some of whom will be offered jobs in the warehouse or in Greenville, where Michelin will spend $5 million to expand the plant to accommodate the transferred equipment and increased output.
The robotic-based C3M process eliminates upstream component production and assembly in favor of complete tire building on a toroidal drum.