Michelin to Establish New PCR Plant in Mexico
Michelin plans to capitalise on the energetic Mexican automotive market through investing US$740 million over the next four years in the establishment of a new factory. The tyremaker will set up the plant in Silao, in the central state of Guanajuato, and production is scheduled to begin in 2010. According to Jim Micali, chairman and president of Michelin’s North America unit, the new factory will employ 1,300 staff and produce passenger car and SUV tyres for the domestic and US export markets.
“This is one of the most dynamic automotive and tyre markets in the world,” said Micali during in a ceremony with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Numerous car manufacturers, including the US “big three”, have adopted Mexico as a low cost manufacturing base for exports to the US and other markets. Michelin said in a statement that the Guanajuanto facility is part of a $1.2 billion investment plan for the region.
“This is a very important recognition by a leading global company of the favourable business conditions that Mexico offers, in particular Guanajuato state,” said Calderon in a speech on August 13. The automotive industry is Mexico’s largest manufacturing sector, and vehicle production in the second quarter of this year rose 14.4 per cent over the first quarter to 515,543 units.
Michelin already has a number of facilities in Mexico. The company opened a truck and car tyre manufacturing facility in the state of Queretaro in 2002 and in July a retreading plant opened in an adjacent site. Michelin also operates a production site in Mexico City.