Published Sept. 24, 2015
Michelin North America Inc. will cease production at its 2-year-old Earthmover tire plant in Starr at the end of this year, with plans for it to reopen when market conditions improve, a spokeswoman said. Spokeswoman Lauren Davis said the 100 affected employees will be offered jobs at Michelin’s other two plants in Anderson County.
Production of the tires, which are used globally on mining and construction equipment, will continue at other Michelin plants, including Lexington County, Davis said. She said the production slowdown will not affect employees at other Michelin plants.
Davis said the plant “will be fully maintained” during the interruption so that production can resume when demand returns.
The Greenville County-based company employs 9,000 people in South Carolina, and in Anderson County it has a plant in Sandy Springs and a second in Starr.
“Right now, we are pretty much responding to the mining market conditions. That is what is driving the business decision right now,” Davis said.
Michelin announced plans in 2012 to hire 500 people and invest $750 million in Anderson and Lexington counties to meet growing demand for the tires, which are as tall as 13 feet and weigh up to 5.5 tons. Pete Selleck, the company’s chairman and president, previously said that “nearly every Earthmover tire is sold before it is produced.”
Davis said Michelin received incentives in return for the investment and new jobs and the company “intends to honor the terms of the agreement.”