Tyre makers join South Carolina manufacturers’ council
Late last month a new organisation was formed to represent tyre makers in a region some refer to as the “tyre capital of North America”. The establishment of the Tire Manufacturers’ Council was announced by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce on 29 May; it says the council’s aim is to “evaluate and propose policies relating to the manufacture of tyres in South Carolina.” Foundation members include Michelin North America, Bridgestone Americas and Continental Tire the Americas.
Steve Evered, vice-president of government affairs for Michelin, serves as inaugural chairman of the Tire Manufacturers’ Council. The chair will rotate among member companies annually. “South Carolina will soon become the largest tyre manufacturing state in the country and currently ranks first among states in tyre exports. The establishment of the Tire Manufacturers’ Council is an acknowledgement of the significant impact of the industry on the state’s economy,” said Evered.
Over the last 22 months, Michelin has committed to invest more than US$1.15 billion in South Carolina expansions. During the same time, Bridgestone Americas has committed to invest $1.2 billion to expand its South Carolina capacity. Continental Tire’s South Carolina investment totals more than $500 million. Upon the completion of recently announced expansions, these three tyre makers will employ more than 12,000 employees in the state, making tyre manufacturing one of the largest industrial sector employers in South Carolina.
“South Carolina is quickly becoming a global manufacturing powerhouse, and it is vital that we keep our eye toward future growth by committing to completing dredging at the Port of Charleston and investing in workforce development. These issues are important to all South Carolina businesses, but especially significant to the tyre manufacturing industry,” said Otis Rawl, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.