The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced that it is planning to build a new consumer tire plant in the Americas to fulfill growing demand for high-value-added tires.
The company said it will invest $500 million into the project, and has initiated the site selection process to identify the best location that will enable the company to serve customers in North America and Latin America.
The new facility will be Goodyear‚Äôs most technologically advanced plant yet, and will have an annual production capacity of six million tires, while keeping open the possibility for future expansions to enhance capacity if demand increases.
The plant‚Äôs production will be used for supporting Goodyear‚Äôs long-term growth plans in the OEM and consumer replacement sectors.
Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, said that the investment supports a key element of the company‚Äôs strategy focused on winning with consumers in profitable market segments.
Kramer added that with growing consumer demand for their high-value-added tires in North America and Latin America, the time is now right¬†for investing in additional manufacturing capacity in the Americas in order to maintain Goodyear‚Äôs leading position and grow earnings beyond 2016.
JobsOhio, the non-profit that leads Ohio economic development efforts and programs, is sure to make a big play for the new plant, considering that Goodyear is headquartered in Akron, OH.
Indiana and Michigan with their strong automotive sectors and supplier networks will likewise be the other leading Midwest contenders for the plant. South Carolina with its recent successes in luring tire manufacturing projects will also make a serious bid for the Goodyear plant.
South Carolina landed the $500 million Continental Tire plant in Sumter, which is expected to employ 1,600 workers and produce eight million tires a year. Last year, Michelin North America announced a $200 million expansion of its Starr, SC manufacturing plant, which brought the company‚Äôs investment in South Carolina in a 21-month period to $1.15 billion.
Goodyear expects to complete the site selection process and finalize a location for the new plant by the first quarter of 2015. Actual tire production at the facility is expected to begin in the first half of 2017.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, founded in 1898, is the leading tiremaker in the Americas with 51 plants in 22 countries and a total worldwide workforce of around 69,000 people. Last year, the company posted net sales of $19.5 billion, leading to net income of around $600 million.