Michelin North America is advancing its plans to establish a distribution centre near Spartanburg, South Carolina, representing a combined investment of more than $270 million and approximately 350 jobs.
Construction is expected to begin later this year. The first phase of the centre is expected to open in late 2017, with full completion expected in early 2019. The Spartanburg County (S.C.) Council recently provided final approval of a “fee in lieu of taxes” agreement, a final key step enabling the project to move forward.
Five buildings are planned, covering approximately 3.3 million square feet in total. The centre will support the distribution of tyres under Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brands for passenger vehicles, heavy trucks and agriculture equipment.
The facility will feature new automation equipment, which should result in significant gains in efficiency, speed and ergonomic conditions.
Swisslog Group, a subsidiary of the German firm KUKA, will automate distribution warehouse operations for receiving, tyre selection, sequencing and shipping, as well as providing warehouse management software and controls software.
“The Spartanburg distribution facility will cap a multi-year evolution of Michelin’s distribution network in North America. We see it as a transformational milestone designed to better serve our customers while optimising inventories and improving supply efficiency,” said Pete Selleck, Chairman and President of Michelin North America.
“We are grateful for the relationships we’ve enjoyed with local government leaders in Spartanburg County for more than 35 years,” Selleck said. “With additional support at the state level, these leaders have helped us advance this important project, which enables our Company to meet growing customer demands for Michelin tyres in multiple business segments.”
“Michelin has been one of South Carolina’s most important business partners since its doors opened in Greenville County over four decades ago,” said South Carolina Govenor Nikki Haley. “Both our state and this fantastic company have grown tremendously over the course of this partnership, and we couldn’t be more excited to see that growth and success continue with this $270 million investment that means 350 new jobs for South Carolinians.”
The location puts the disrubution centre close to critical transportation hubs, such as the South Carolina Inland Port (rail) and the Port of Charleston.
Michelin’s new facility will be located within a short distance of seven Michelin tyre plants across South Carolina’s Upstate region, as well as the Company’s Greenville-based headquarters for North America and multiple other Michelin facilities.
“We have worked with Michelin over many months to secure this project in South Carolina,” said South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “An investment of this size with this number of new jobs affirms the attractive business environment South Carolina offers to respected global corporations like Michelin.”