Granton, Nova Scotia — Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. is budgeting $16 million (€14 million) in investments at its Granton plant to support the launch in 2020 of a winter tire designed specifically for the North American market.
Michelin upgrading Canada plant for winter tire launch
The launch of the new, as-yet unnamed winter tire line will create 150 jobs at the Granton plant and make permanent 200 temporary positions that were slated previously to end in 2020, Michelin said.
This project will expand Michelin's employment in Nova Scotia to more than 3,600, the highest levels the firm's almost 50-year history, according to Jeff MacLean, president, Michelin Canada.
"This is a testament to the dedication of our employees, the support of our community and government partners, and our continued ability to deliver top-quality products for the North American marketplace."
The investment at the plant is tied to the introduction of an "innovative" process for semi-finished materials, Michelin said.
The new tire will build on the success of the Latitude X-Ice XI2 winter tires built at the Granton plant for Canadian and US markets.
The addition of the new semi-finished materials process will allow Michelin to remain competitive in the marketplace, Maclean said, while also helping it build its manufacturing base in Nova Scotia."
The project — budgeted at $9.2 million — includes state-of-the art equipment, building renovations and new storage facilities at the site. This project will span 2019–20 and create 20 jobs. These semi-finished products will be used in several North American Michelin sites.
This decision is a reversal of fortune for the Granton plant. In 2014 Michelin announced it intended to phase out nearly all production at the then-46-year-old plant in Pictou County.
Two years later, it extended the factory's tire manufacturing life for two years, opting to continue production of winter tires there in response to increased consumer demand for winter products.
Nova Scotia is contributing $3.56 million to the project through the Nova Scotia Business Inc. Innovation Rebate Program, and the province's Department of Labour and Advanced Education will train some of the new employees for these projects.
Michelin budgeted $6.9 million to support the launch of the new winter tire. Production of the Latitude X-ice will continue at Granton until 2020, when resources will be redirected to the new tire, Michelin said.
"This project reinforces the strength and technical capability of the Michelin Nova Scotia team," Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said.
"We are also pleased that a Nova Scotia location has been chosen to be the first in North America for this innovative work with semi-finished materials. Michelin has been a very important part of our economy for several decades, and it's wonderful to see this commitment to future growth and success in our province."