New Plant in Mexico Not Seen as a Threat to Tire Manufacturing in South Carolina

Concern that South Carolina tire workers may be the latest victims of outsourcing have been allayed by the Michelin company, which recently announced plans to open a new factory in Mexico. According to a company official, the new plant will have no impact on its operations in the state.
The Mexican plant is scheduled to open in 2018 in the city of Leon. This will be the company’s second plant in Mexico and its 21st in North America. The location of the plant was chosen because of its proximity to some 20 automobile factories, which should increase the efficiency of the operation and at the same time reduce carbon emissions. The plant is eventually expected to produce up to five million tires every year. The entire story concerning the new plant is available at
Michelin currently employs some 580 workers in Mexico, but this number is small compared to the more than 9,000 it employs in South Carolina. Most of these workers are employed at nine factories located in the counties of Anderson, Greenville, Lexington and Spartanburg. The company previously suspended its operations at a plant in Starr, located in Anderson County, where it made tires for construction-type vehicles. This suspension was related to the general decline in the market for large tires.
Michelin has invested more than $2 billion in the improvement of its facilities throughout South Carolina over the past five years. This amount represents approximately 75 percent of what the French-based company has put into its U.S. operations during the same period of time.