PIEDMONT, S.C. (Nov. 20, 2014) — Michelin North America Inc. has budgeted about $50 million to convert a 135,000-sq.-ft. structure in Piedmont to the first manufacturing site for its non-pneumatic Tweel tire/wheel assembly, the company disclosed today at the plant's christening.
Michelin North America Chairman and President Pete Selleck called his company's decision to build the Tweel in South Carolina “another dramatic example of Michelin's long-standing commitment to breakthrough innovation.”
Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the plant today, Mr. Selleck said, "One day, I can tell you the Tweel may even be on automobiles. But there is more exhaustive research and testing to make sure that it is right.
"Right now we do not know when Tweel tires will be on passenger cars. We do know that the low-speed applications are just the beginning. And we do know Michelin will always be the first."
He said he envisions that a Tweel-based product could be the answer for some developing economies "where bad roads dictate slow-moving passenger cars...."