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Michelin Announces Expansion in Lexington County

$200 million investment expected to create 270 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – May 9, 2011 – Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Lexington County today announced that Michelin will invest another $200 million in its Lexington facility to further expand its tire building capacity. The tire maker has already invested more than $1 billion in the site since it was first established in 1981. This latest project, for which all equipment will be installed by the first half of 2013, will create 270 new jobs, phased in over the next two years. Work will begin immediately.

“Trusted for its quality and value, the Michelin brand was quite resilient during the recent economic crisis,” said Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “As the economy turned, demand for our tires increased dramatically. We must have additional capacity for high performance passenger car tires to meet our customers’ needs. We’re thrilled that the expansion will be in our home state of South Carolina. The Lexington County Council and the state of South Carolina have been effective partners with us, working to make this expansion and the new jobs that support it a reality.”

Michelin’s Lexington passenger and light truck tire facility currently employs 1,360 people in 1.2 million square feet. Michelin also operates an earthmover tire plant at the site, employing 475 people in 825,000 square feet.

“Michelin has been an important part of the Midlands business community for decades and we celebrate the company’s decision to increase its presence in South Carolina. This announcement not only shows the company’s commitment to our state, but that we are doing right things to help South Carolina’s existing businesses grow. We look forward to Michelin’s continued growth in South Carolina,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

“Michelin is a world-class company and we are excited the company will expand operations in Lexington County. Manufacturing continues to play a key role in South Carolina’s economy, and today’s announcement is another indication that our state’s business-friendly climate is working to attract investment from manufacturing companies and create jobs,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

“Today we are pleased to be able to celebrate this milestone achievement by Michelin North America.  We are extremely delighted to have them in Lexington County and wish them continued success.  We applaud them for their 30 year commitment to this community and for their level of investment” said Jim Kinard, Chairman of Lexington County Council.

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 America ( employs more than 21,400 and operates 18 major manufacturing plants in 16 locations.