Ground was broken and the first stone set in place for the new Michelin plant in León, Guanajuato at a ceremony held Monday August 22 and attended by Mexican government dignitaries, key customers and company management.
Construction of the plant in León – Michelin’s 69th factory globally and 21st in North America – is expected to begin immediately, with completion currently scheduled for late 2018.
“Our actions here today demonstrate our confidence in Mexico’s manufacturing environment, the skilled and talented workforce here and the infrastructure necessary to deliver tyres efficiently throughout North America,” said Michelin Group chief executive officer Jean-Dominique Senard during the ceremony. “Michelin’s customers for passenger-vehicle tyres are demanding more and more of our innovative, high-tech tyres to meet the performance requirements of the growing market in North America. This plant will improve our capacity to meet those demands, as a key element of Michelin’s ‘Service to the Customer’ initiative in North America and worldwide.”
The approximately €450 million that Michelin has earmarked to set up the plant represents the company’s largest global investment for 2016. Plans call for a 142,000 square metre facility located on a 98 hectare site in the Parque Industrial León-Bajio, Guanajuato state. Production will incrementally rise following the start of production to eventually reach between 4 and 5 million tyres a year. Output will primarily be Michelin brand products for high-performance and ultra-high-performance cars, light trucks, SUVs and cross-over vehicles. The plant is expected to employ at least 1,000 people at capacity.
“We are excited to celebrate this occasion with so many of our valued customers and respected government leaders across León and Mexico who have helped us to reach this key milestone,” said Mike Boggs, director of Michelin Mexico. “We are eager to join the León business community and look forward to establishing long-term relationships here.”
Local, national leaders welcome Michelin’s arrival
Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Mexico’s secretary of the economy, described Michelin’s decision to invest in his homeland as representing “a vote of confidence that strengthens the positioning of Mexico as an investment destination, because it comes from a company with a long tradition in the industry and widely recognised for its commitment to innovation.” Guanajuato state governor Miguel Márquez Márquez sees Michelin’s arrival as marking “a before-and-after in the automotive industry in the state.” He added: “It is the most important investment for León so far. This new investment will trigger social and economic development, as we are talking about one of the most important tyre companies in the world making Guanajuato the nation’s leader in premium tyres production. This is great news for León, Guanajuato, and Mexico.”
“This announcement is a sign of the enormous confidence that world-class companies have in our state, a recognition of the strengths we have and our ability to become an international economic actor,” said Héctor López Santillana, mayor of León. “Michelin has not only relied on the municipal government, but on the people of León and the talent of its people. With this new plant, León will provide greater dynamism to the expanding automotive sector in the Bajio region. We are confident that together, we will open a new era of opportunities and shared development.”