Tire manufacturer Michelin North America will expand capacity at its Lexington County plant and add up to 270 new jobs to the payroll, boosting investment at the facility over the past 30 years to more than $1 billion, the company said Monday.
That investment, local leaders said, puts Michelin on a par with the highly-publicized capital investment announced nearly two years ago by airplane manufacturer Boeing in Charleston -- although Michelins investment has been drawn out over the past three decades.
Michelin has been moving earth in preparation for the $200 million expansion at the site for more than 30 days, but only made the announcement official in a press conference Monday, attended by Gov. Nikki Haley.
Lexington County Council gave final approval recently to extend tax incentives to Michelin for the expansion. The fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement between Lexington and Michelin lowers the companys tax rate to 4 percent over 20 years.
Michelin, which makes tires for machinery ranging from airplanes and automobiles to motorcycles and farm equipment, opened its 1.2 million-square-foot passenger tire plant in Lexington in 1981 and its 825,000-square-foot earth mover tire plant in 1998.