MEXICO CITY – Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company said it plans to invest $550 million to build a new tire factory in Mexico.
In an event Friday at the Los Pinos presidential palace, Goodyear Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer said construction of the plant in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi will kick off in June with a goal of starting production in mid-2017.
The factory will employ 1,000 people once it reaches full production and have the capacity to produce 6 million tires a year for customers throughout the Americas, Kramer said.
The plant not only will boast technologically advanced machinery and equipment but also will be a zero-waste-to-landfill and zero-solvent facility that will use natural gas, energy efficient LED lighting and state-of-the-art dust collection equipment, reflecting Goodyear’s commitment to the environment, the chief executive said.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, for his part, said the plant will create 1,000 direct jobs and more than 5,000 indirect jobs, while its output of more than 6 million tires annually will represent 30 percent of domestic tire production in 2014.
The head of state said he hopes Goodyear’s announcement marks the start of a broader expansion plan in Mexico by the global manufacturing company, whose presence in the Latin American country dates back 75 years.
Last week, Japanese automaker Toyota said it plans to invest $1 billion in a new Corolla plant, while U.S. automaker Ford said it will invest $2.5 billion in several projects in Mexico.
Peña Nieto touted the strength of the auto sector in Mexico, the world’s fourth-biggest car exporter and seventh-biggest vehicle manufacturer, as well as the country’s macroeconomic stability and ability to attract foreign investment despite a highly volatile global scenario.