GREER - Tire giant Michelin, which already operates locations in Greenville and Anderson counties, made a huge announcement Tuesday as it revealed its plans to expand upon its "Earthmover" tire plant in Lexington County and construct an entirely new plant in Anderson.
The announcement represents a $750 million investment that is expected to create some 500 new jobs between the two new operations.
“There is unprecedented demand for Michelin Earthmover tires throughout the world,” said Michelin Chairman and President Pete Selleck. “It’s a tribute to the productivity of our employees and the pro-business environment in South Carolina that the company is expanding its Earthmover capacity in the state where we first began manufacturing in the United States.”
When added to the $200 million announced last May in Lexington, this announcement brings the total Michelin investment in South Carolina to almost $1 billion in the last year.
Selleck, Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham were all on hand for the announcement, and confirmed that the completion of the two new projects makes South Carolina the largest tire manufacturer in the country.
“Michelin has been part of the economic and social fabric of South Carolina since the first tire rolled off the line in 1975 and has been one of our finest corporate citizens,” Haley said. “It really is a great day in South Carolina when our largest manufacturer reaffirms its commitment to the state.”
Michelin officials said they anticipate an aggressive timeline for completion for both projects. The Lexington project is already underway, while the Anderson project is expected to begin in the next few weeks, with completion next year.
“It’s always rewarding when new companies locate in South Carolina, but it's even better when companies like Michelin, that have been here for decades, decide to expand and grow,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “It is a tribute to Michelin and its 8,000 employees in the state that the company has decided to grow their presence here.”
State and local tax incentives were approved months prior to the expansion. Meanwhile, Graham said the announcements only further reinforces his belief that the state must move forward with pro-business action, such as deepening the Port of Charleston.
Both Graham and Haley said it was Michelin's game-changing entrance to the South Carolina business scene 40 years ago that led to a culture shift, with the manufacturing world since taking note of its low-tax, non-unionized pro-business environment. Since Michelin came to South Carolina, other manufacturing giants such as Boeing and BMW have called the Palmetto State their home.