LEÓN, Guanajuato, Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Michelin Group began construction of its 69th global plant today with an official ground-breaking and traditional first stone ceremony held with honored government dignitaries, key customers and company leaders at the new site in León, Guanajuato, in central Mexico.
"Our actions here today demonstrate our confidence in Mexico's manufacturing environment, the skilled and talented workforce here and the infrastructure necessary to deliver tires efficiently throughout North America," said Jean-Dominique Senard, chief executive officer of Michelin Group, based in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
"Michelin's customers for passenger-vehicle tires are demanding more and more of our innovative, high-tech tires to meet the performance requirements of the growing market in North America," Senard said. "This plant will improve our capacity to meet those demands, as a key element of Michelin's 'Service to the Customer' initiative in North America and worldwide."
The new plant, Michelin Group's 21st site in North America, was announced in July. The plant will comprise approximately 142,000 square meters (more than 1.5 million square feet) on approximately 98 hectares (more than 240 acres) in the Parque Industrial León-Bajio, or "Pilba," as the industrial park is known locally. The plant represents Michelin Group's largest global investment for 2016, approximately €450 million (US$510 million), as the Company recently announced.
Construction of the plant is expected to begin immediately, with completion currently scheduled for late 2018. Production will increase gradually thereafter, eventually reaching 4 to 5 million tires a year, primarily under the Michelin brand for high-performance and ultra-high-performance cars, light trucks, SUVs and cross-over vehicles. The plant is expected to employ at least 1,000 people at capacity.
"We are excited to celebrate this occasion with so many of our valued customers and respected government leaders across León and Mexico who have helped us to reach this key milestone," said Mike Boggs, director of Michelin Mexico. "We are eager to join the León business community and look forward to establishing long-term relationships here."
"The new Michelin investment in Mexico represents a vote of confidence that strengthens the positioning of Mexico as an investment destination, because it comes from a company with a long tradition in the industry and widely recognized for its commitment to innovation," said Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico's secretary of the economy.
"The arrival of Michelin is great news, as it marks a before-and-after in the automotive industry in the Estate, and it is the most important investment for León so far," said Miguel Márquez Márquez, governor of the Estate of Guanajuato, Mexico. "This new investment will trigger social and economic development, as we are talking about one of the most important tire companies in the world making Guanajuato the nation's leader in premium tires production. This is great news for León, Guanajuato, and Mexico."
"This announcement is a sign of the enormous confidence that world-class companies have in our state, a recognition of the strengths we have and our ability to become an international economic actor," said Héctor López Santillana, mayor of León. "Michelin has not only relied on the municipal government, but on the people of León and the talent of its people. With this new plant, León will provide greater dynamism to the expanding automotive sector in the Bajio region. We are confident that together, we will open a new era of opportunities and shared development."
About Michelin Group
Michelin, the leading tire company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients' mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients' needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve the mobility industry. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 171 countries, has 111,700 employees and operates 68 production facilities in 17 countries, which together produced 184 million tires in 2015. (www.michelin.com)
About Michelin North America
Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company has earned a long-standing reputation for building innovative premium tires. Since 1989, Michelin has received 80 J.D. Power tire customer satisfaction awards — five times the number of all other tire manufacturers combined. In addition to tires, the company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) employs about 22,700 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants.