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Already a major force in the off-the-road (OTR) tire market, Michelin is moving to extend its dominance even more.
The company's OTR tire plant now under construction in Lexington, S.C., will be the largest in North America and one of the largest large-tire manufacturing facilities in the world.
Tire production is scheduled to begin there on Dec. 27, says Clement Yong, Groupe Michelin's vice president of earth-mover and industrial tire marketing and sales.
By the time all phases of the project are completed in about four years, Michelin may have invested as much as $280 million in construction and start-up costs.
About 80% of the Lexington output will go to the North American market where Michelin has been selling every OTR tire it can supply, most of them imported from Europe.
The rest will go to Canada, Mexico and South America and …