Michelin plans to set up India factory
Paris, June 21, 2009
French tyre giant Michelin, which plans to cut nearly 1,100 jobs in France, aims to open a factory in India in three years, the company's chief executive Michel Rollier said.
India's Economic Times newspaper reported on Thursday that Michelin may invest more than one billion euros ($1.39 billion) over 10 years in a factory in the Asian country, but Rollier refused to confirm the figure.
"We hope the factory will open within three years," Rollier said. "I cannot tell you (the figure) but for a big factory, it's not far from that. One billion euros over 10 years is less than what we invest in France."
The Economic Times report quoted "a person directly involved" as saying that Michelin had sought the Indian government's approval to acquire a 100 per cent stake in a new company, Michelin India Tamil Nadu Tyres, formed in April.
The world's biggest tyre manufacturer was negotiating with the Tamil Nadu regional government for land on which to build its future manufacturing unit, where it could create between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs, the paper said.
Rollier said that negotiations had begun between Michelin and the Indian authorities six months ago. The factory would produce tyres for trucks and heavy engineering plant, "where the Indian market is promising and we are virtually absent."
"We don't want to miss the take-off of the Indian market," he added.
Rollier denied that Michelin wanted to move some production from France to India, saying the group was investing in factories for similar products at home.
Michelin, which has 69 factories across the world, 14 of them in France, said on Wednesday it would shed more than 2,800 jobs in the next three years as the global economic slump slashes demand in its key automobile market.