Michelin marked the opening of its newest manufacturing facility in the Upstate with a celebration Thursday that had the feel of a company pep rally.
The new facility in the Anderson County town of Starr, known as “US10,” is Michelin’s ninth plant built in the state of South Carolina. It will manufacture large Earthmover tires which are used on large mining trucks and equipment. The tires can stand up to 13 feet tall and weigh up to 5.5 tons. The company said eighty percent of the tires manufactured at this facility will be exported.
The company said it hopes to begin production in January and begin selling the tires by mid-2014.
“It’s a source of pride to know that what we’re doing right here in South Carolina plays such an important role in our company’s global business strategy,” Michelin North America chairman and president Pete Selleck said in a statement. “It’s a testament to the business-friendly climate in the state and the dedicated, productive and skilled workforce that serves as the engine behind our success.”
Michelin said it took 17 months to complete the plant after breaking ground on the facility in summer 2012, which it says is the fastest greenfield construction (building on a new, undeveloped property) in the company’s history.
“That we have constructed this state of the art facility in 17 months is nothing short of remarkable,” said Bruce Brackett, senior vice president, Michelin Earthmover & Industrial Tires Worldwide. “These tires are no ordinary ones, and they cannot be built just anywhere by just anyone.”
The new Earthmover tire plant is adjacent to Michelin’s existing rubber processing plant in Starr and is the third Michelin plant in Anderson County. It also makes Earthmover tires at a facility in Lexington County.