GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 16, 2006) — Michelin North America Inc. will build a tread rubber processing plant in Queretaro, Mexico, adjacent to its Michelin Mexico headquarters and passenger tire plant in the coming six to nine months.
The plant will produce tread rubber for the truck retread tire market in North America. Construction will begin immediately, and the facility will employ up to 120 when it begins production in spring 2007. Michelin said the investment for constructing the new tread plant is $40 million (U.S.), but did not disclose capacity.
“Demand for Michelin retreads in North America is exploding,” said Luc Minguet, chief operating officer for Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “…Demand is growing by half a million treads a year, and our franchisees plan to open 15 retreading plants this year. This new tread pressing facility is key to support our growth not only in Mexico but in North America.”
Tread rubber for the Mexican market is made in Covington, Ga., Michelin said. That plant will complete an expansion in mid-2006 to double its capacity.
Michelin claimed its retread business in Mexico is up 85 percent over last year and it gained two points of market share in North America.