Goodyear this morning announced plans to build a new $500 million consumer tire plant somewhere in the Americas. It is believed that South Carolina will be the site for the new facility, which will have an initial capacity of some six million passenger and light truck tires per year.
In recent days, there have been various reports that Chester County, S.C., had landed a new tire plant – code-named Project Summer – that would employ an estimated 1,500 people. Some media there placed the investment level at $560 million.
“We have no knowledge of Project Summer and it’s premature to speculate on a specific location for the new plant since our site selection process is just getting started,” said Goodyear in a statement to Tire Review.
In its official press release this morning, Goodyear said it “plans to invest approximately $500 million to build the new plant, which will be its most technologically advanced and have an initial capacity of about six million tires per year. Capacity can be increased as demand increases. Site selection is underway to identify the best location for the plant to support North America and Latin America customers. Tire production is expected to begin in the first half of 2017.”
The new tire plant, according to Goodyear, will service both replacement and OE markets.
“Our investment supports another key element of our strategy – to focus on winning with consumers in profitable market segments,” said Rich Kramer, chairman and CEO. “With growing consumer demand for our high-value-added tires in North America and Latin America, the time is right to invest in additional manufacturing capacity in the Americas to maintain Goodyear’s leading position and to grow earnings beyond 2016.
If the tiremaker chooses South Carolina, the plant would be the tiremaker’s first in North America since its Napanee, Ontario, plant opened in 1990, and its first in the U.S since its Lawton, Okla., plant opened in 1978.