Queretaro, Mexico -Â Michelin-brand tyres are being produced for the first time in Mexico following a production upgrade in Queretaro, Michelin North America Inc. said.
The tyre maker said it expanded the plant's capacity because of strong consumer demand in Mexico.
"In the past three years, Michelin's replacement tyre sales in Mexico have jumped more than 60 percent, outpacing the market more than six times," said Jim Micali, chairman and president of Michelin. "Mexico is one of the top 10 tyre markets in the world, growing at almost twice the rate of the US market.
"Until today, every Michelin-brand tyre sold in Mexico was imported. It is crucial for us to have in-country production to meet the phenomenal demand in Mexico and to increase our total North America capacity for Michelin brandÂ´s high-quality tyres."
The company unveiled a new Michelin sign at the plant, signifying its certification to produce the Michelin brand.
Earlier this year, Michelin said it also would build a new plant in Queretaro adjacent to the passenger tyre plant. That factory will produce tread rubber for retreading commercial truck tyres. It is scheduled to open in spring 2007 with 120 employees.
Michelin's work force in Mexico represents about 5 percent of its total in North America.
From Rubber & Plastics News (A Crain publication)
Press release from Michelin