AKRON — Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plans to invest about $500 million to build its first new tire plant in more than 20 years, but it’s not clear if the company will tap the tire expertise of its hometown.
Speaking at a business conference in Boston on Thursday, Goodyear’s Chief Financial Officer Laura Thompson said site selection is just getting under way for a state-of-the-art factory that would start out producing 6 million tires a year. But one county in South Carolina is already claiming to be the favored location.
Chester County, South Carolina is in the process of approving tax breaks for an unidentified company that could invest more than $560 million and employ 1,500 people, The Herald newspaper reported on its Web site Thursday.
It said economic development officials were declining to identify the suitor but quoted a state representative, Ralph Norman, as saying the project is automotive related.
“The location has not yet been determined as site selection is just beginning,” Goodyear spokesman Keith Price said. In response to a question about whether Goodyear was weighing sites in Ohio, he said: “All locations in the Americas are on the table for consideration. We expect to have a decision no later than the first quarter of 2015.”
He added that the company had no estimates on the number of people such a massive facility could employ.