ARDMORE, Okla. (Feb. 28, 2003)—Michelin North America Inc. plans to invest $144 million in its Ardmore plant to increase capacity for larger tire sizes to further tap into sport-utility, performance and other large tire markets.
The Greenville, S.C.-based tire maker earlier announced a $56 million investment at the same facility, bringing the total to $200 million.
The $144 million investment is a “direct result” of an economic incentive plan offered by Oklahoma, Michelin said. The investment is contingent on the tire maker receiving the incentive package.
“Increasingly, auto makers and the public are demanding larger tires, more high-performance tires and more SUV tires,” said Pete Selleck, chief operating officer of Michelin Americas Small Tires. “The investments we are planning will position us to meet those demands.”
“The tire industry has really been challenged in recent years,” said Gary Scheide, plant manager, referring to fierce competition and increasing raw materials prices. “The state's commitment to Michelin will help us maintain the edge we need to be competitive.”
The Ardmore plant, which employs 1,841, makes radial passenger and light truck tires for both the original equipment and replacement markets. Daily capacity at the non-union plant is listed as 33,000 units. The plant was opened in 1969 by Uniroyal Inc. Michelin North America employs 24,640 and runs 22 plants in 18 locations.