New Michelin tire plant to create 500 jobs - FOX Carolina 21

New Michelin tire plant to create 500 jobs

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Michelin North America Chairman Pete Selleck along with Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham at the economic announcement. (April 10, 2012/FOX Carolina Michelin North America Chairman Pete Selleck along with Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham at the economic announcement. (April 10, 2012/FOX Carolina
Michelin will build its new tire plant next to the existing facility in Starr. (April 10, 2012/FOX Carolina) Michelin will build its new tire plant next to the existing facility in Starr. (April 10, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

Michelin officials announced that the company will invest about $750 million in the state through the creation of a new Anderson County plant along with an expansion of their Lexington County plant.

Michelin North America Chairman Pete Selleck praised the state's pro-business climate and the productivity of South Carolina employees and said the investment will also create up to 500 new jobs. He said this is the first time in 15 years they will break ground on a new facility.

"We firmly believe that our employees are our best asset, and our best competitive advantage," Selleck said. "The workforce here in South Carolina is among the most productive and most skilled in the world."

The company invited officials from Anderson and Lexington counties, as well as Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham to its North American headquarters in Greenville on Tuesday.

"It's a huge impact, because we have a huge unemployment number in our area," said Anderson County Councilman Eddie Moore. "It will have a huge impact on our entire county, especially District 3."

The company announced that demand for its Earthmover tires have increased so fast that it will invest an additional $750 million to expand its ability to make the massive tires. The tires are used for heavy equipment in industries like mining and construction.

Selleck said South Carolina is positioned to become the No. 1 tire production state in 2013.

"I've never loved tires so much," said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. "It says a lot about South Carolina that next year we will be the largest tire producer in the country."

Michelin will break ground next week on the new plant, which will be located at One Bib Way in Anderson. The opening date, number of jobs and size of the plant is yet to be determined. Job information will be available online at readysc.org or careers.michelin-us.com.

When added to the $200 million announced last May in Lexington, this announcement brings the total Michelin investment in the state to almost $1 billion in the last year.

Michelin will have nine South Carolina plants along with a total of 19 plants in North America.

Anderson County has approved incentives that could bring an investment of more than $150 million and at least 150 jobs to the area.

Over one-third of Michelin's 22,000 North America employees work in the state. The French tire maker opened its first American plant in South Carolina in 1973.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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