Michelin confirms Mexico factory plans
Rumours and reports circulating since April about Michelin intention to build a new Michelin tyre factory in Mexico were confirmed on 4 July when the French company issued news of its plans to build a facility for producing high-end car and light truck tyres there. Michelin says construction of the 142,000 square metre, €450 million factory in León, Guanajuato state will begin in the second half of this year, with tyre production expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2018. An annual output of 4 to 5 million tyres is planned for the initial production phase, and the León plant will be gradually ramped up.
“Michelin is building this plant to respond both to sharp growth in Mexico’s automobile market and to the confidence that the world’s largest car manufacturers have put in us,” shares Michelin Group chief executive officer Jean-Dominique Senard. “The largest investment approved by the Group in 2016, the new plant reflects our ability to take advantage of growth opportunities in the dynamic North American market and to make our manufacturing operations more agile by deploying tyre ranges that integrate innovative technology.”
The new plant is Michelin’s 21st in North America and 69th worldwide. The company says the choice of Mexico as its location reflects its “commitment to producing its tyres as close as possible to the markets in which they are sold.” Most of the high-performance tyres produced in León will be produced for the original equipment segment. The plant’s location was chosen because it is just a three-hour drive from the production facilities of 18 large car manufacturers with operations in Mexico. These short distances mean that the tyres will be delivered to Michelin’s customers faster and more cost effectively, thereby reducing the Group’s carbon footprint and helping it to meet its environmental objectives.
“We’re pleased to strengthen our industrial presence in Mexico, thereby being able to satisfy the needs of North American car manufacturers and motorists looking for high-quality tyres that are perfectly adapted to their usage conditions,” said Mike Boggs, director of Michelin Mexico.