Michelin finishes one project, looks to the next

By Ashley Boncimino
ashleyb@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 18, 2013

ANDERSON, S.C. — After celebrating the completion of its newest facility in Anderson, tire-maker Michelin North America is already on to its next move, which could involve projects in Greenville County as early as next year, Chairman and President Pete Selleck said.

“They are projects related to redevelopment on our current sites, and also we have a few sites that we just can’t talk about,” Selleck said. “We are growing in Greenville County.”

Michelin North America Chairman and President Pete Selleck
Michelin North America Chairman and President Pete Selleck
Selleck also said Michelin was working on forming a coalition of tire-makers in response to expansion in the S.C. market by competitors Continental Tire and Bridgestone Americas. Continental Tire launched production at its Sumter plant in November. Bridgestone expanded in Aiken County in April.

The competitors haven’t affected Michelin business so far, because they’re located in different parts of the state, Selleck said.

“First of all, it validates our decision to be here. They looked around, and they saw our success and said, ‘If Michelin’s successful, there’s probably something behind that,’” Selleck said.

The coalition will enable tire-makers to “work in areas of common interest, particularly as it relates to the infrastructure, the highway systems and ports. We all have a common problem,” Selleck said.

S.C. State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome was among the state officials and business leaders who attended Michelin’s event in Anderson County, along with former S.C. Gov. Richard Riley and current Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell.

The new Anderson facility, called US10, is part of the $750 million investment Michelin announced in April 2012 to build the 800,000-square-foot facility and expand the company’s Lexington facility. Around 200 business leaders, state officials and employees attended the event at the facility, which will produce the world’s largest tires for more than 1,300 mining operations around the world. Commercial production will begin in January and tires will be available for sale mid-2014.

The facility was completed in 17 months, making it the fastest greenfield construction in Michelin history. It is Michelin’s 19th plant in North America, ninth in South Carolina and third in Anderson County.

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