SHENYANG, China (Feb. 12, 2013) — Group Michelin has begun production of truck tires at a $1.5 billion plant complex in Shenyang that eventually will be producing more than 12 million car, light truck and medium truck/bus tires a year.
The plant, built in Shenyang's Economic and Technological Development Zone, replaces a factory Michelin opened in the northern China city 18 years ago.
At full capacity, the new plant is expected to have annual capacities of 10 million car tires, 1.8 million truck tires and 295,000 retreads with 1,500 employees, the firm said at the plant's groundbreaking in November 2010. Michelin ceremoniously inaugurated production at the plant on Jan. 26 and said production of car and light truck tires will start by mid-year.
The business operates under the name Michelin Shenyang Tire Co. Ltd. Michelin did not say when production at the original Shenyang plant will stop or whether it already has stopped.
Michelin said at the groundbreaking in 2010 that it intended to use its latest technologies and production processes in the factory, including a fully automated tire-building process and a "one-time" mixing process that will reduce energy consumption. The technologies employed were being employed to "significantly reduce" the plant's CO2 emissions, Michelin said.
Tires built at the new plant are supposed to be lighter, Michelin said, thus reducing raw materials usage, while maintaining the same loading and speed performance ratings.