Monday, March 21, 2011

Michelin to invest $50 million to upgrade, expand BFGoodrich tire plant

Michelin North America is investing an additional $50 million to upgrade equipment and expand production capacity at the company’s Fort Wayne BFGoodrich Tire manufacturing facility in Woodburn, Ind., adding approximately 35 new jobs to the local economy.

The announcement was made today during a ceremony at the City-County building in Fort Wayne during which Michelin thanked state and local officials and development agencies for their continued support of Michelin’s investment in Allen County.

"We are deeply grateful to the state of Indiana, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance and the Allen County Department of Planning Services, as well as the County Council and County Commission, WorkOne Northeast and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, all of whom were influential in helping to secure this investment," said Dent Johnson, plant manager. "This investment enables us to increase production capacity while continuing to deliver high-quality products to our customers. It will also upgrade the flexibility and capability of this facility to help improve its long-term competitiveness."

"Michelin continues to see Indiana as a smart place to grow its manufacturing capacity and we know that’s a direct reflection of the dedication of the Northeast Indiana workers," said Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

The 1.9-million-square-foot facility, which opened in 1961, produces passenger car and light truck BFGoodrich Tires and currently employs 1,580 people. Upgrades and expansion work will begin immediately.

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance compiled a competitive incentive package to help secure the investment worth more than $3 million, including a personal and real property tax abatement of $2.1 million, which was approved by the Allen County Council on Jan. 20. The incentive offers were a cumulative effort that came from Allen County, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and WorkOne Northeast.

"The continued investment in Allen County by Michelin for its BFGoodrich Tire plant has provided good paying jobs to many Northeast Indiana residents for 50 years," said County Commissioner Nelson Peters. "We’re looking forward to BFGoodrich thriving in our community for another 50 years to come."

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance began in 2000 as the lead organization for economic development activities throughout the county. The Alliance is a not-for-profit organization supported by Allen County, the City of Fort Wayne, the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. The Alliance’s goal is to further the base employment of Allen County through business retention, expansion and attraction projects.

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North Americ employs 21,400 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.

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