Bad Kreuznach, Germany – Group Michelin has started the production of higher rim size tires at its manufacturing plant in Bad Kreuznach, an hour to the east of Frankfurt.
A new production line at the facility now manufacture 18- and 19-inch tire sizes, said Michelin in a 4 Sept statement, adding that the new sizes reflected the current trend towards larger tires in the premium segment.
"Given the developments in the European market, investing in this modernisation is crucial to our competitiveness," said plant manager Christian Metzger.
As part of the plant upgrade, the new production line has replaced the old machinery for 14- and 15-inch tires, the demand for which according to Michelin has “fallen significantly”.
The Bad Kreuznach project team dismantled the old systems in the summer of 2018 and began preparing the construction site in the factory building in December, Michelin explained.
The upgraded production hall now features “highly automated” tire transport systems and electrical vulcanisation equipment.
The investment, amounting to ‘tens of millions of euros’ is part of the Future Pact, signed between Michelin and its employee representatives to strengthen German locations amid European competition.
Michelin expects to start the commercial-scale production of 18- and 19-inch tires at the plant “in the coming weeks”.