This month, 48 years ago, an announcement was made that would help pave the way to South Carolina becoming an automotive giant. In February 1973, Michelin revealed to the world it would establish its first major manufacturing operations in the United States with a new tire plant in Greenville County. The facility, Michelin U.S. 1, was the French company's first venture into major manufacturing operations in the U.S. and, at the time, was the largest single foreign investment in S.C. history.
Fast forward to 2021, South Carolina is a true tire powerhouse. We lead the nation in the export sales of tires, accounting for nearly 40% of the total U.S. market share. Representing five countries - France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Sweden - South Carolina is home to companies like Bridgestone, Continental, Giti and Trelleborg.
South Carolina is also the number one producer of tires in the U.S., manufacturing approximately 133,000 tires each day. Every time a new tire rolls off a S.C. assembly line - whether it's for a family vehicle or the largest tire in the world - it further proves South Carolina's tire industry is on a roll.
It's clear that South Carolina is not just a player in the global automotive industry; we're a leader. And with a roster of industry giants right here at home, we don't plan on hitting the brakes.