Tire firm picks North Carolina over Georgia for 800-job manufacturing project
As Chinese tire firm Triangle Tyre Co was deciding where to locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility, the decision came down to North Carolina and Georgia. That’s according to N.C. Department of Commerce officials, speaking Tuesday after the 800-job project was unveiled to the public.
Triangle Tyre is a subsidiary of Triangle Group Co. that makes tires for both commercial and passenger vehicles. It plans to invest $580 million into two tire plants, which will be located at the Kingsboro megasite in Edgecombe County. In exchange, the company is eligible for Job Development Investment Grant reimbursements of up to $20.1 million and a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund for up to $16 million, provided it meets job and investment targets.
The jobs’ average salaries are expected to be about $56,500. The county’s average wage is about $32,640.
State officials, including Gov. Roy Cooper, announced the jobs Tuesday at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro.
“They could have chosen anywhere on the planet to locate their headquarters, but they chose here,” Cooper told the crowd. “Instead of shifting jobs overseas, we need to bring overseas jobs to North Carolina, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Once operational, the facilities will churn out 6 million tires per year, according to Cooper.
To secure the commitment, both Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland and Norris Tolson, CEO of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership, personally traveled to China.
“It’s definitely one of the largest investments in eastern North Carolina in the history of North Carolina,” Copeland told the crowd.
The project is expected to have an economic impact of $2.4 billion.
And It’s the second announcement Cooper has made in Tarboro in recent days. Last week, Cooper announced that Corning Incorporated had picked Edgecombe and Durham counties for a 428-job expansion.
In an interview after the Corning news, Tolson said economic development was on the rise in Edgecombe County. With the Corning project, Edgecombe was “breaking the barrier on pharmaceutical projects in eastern North Carolina,” he said.
“Nash and Edgecombe are in significant growth mode right now,” he said.
The announcement comes as North Carolina continues to vie for a Toyota-Mazda assembly plant. Officials have said investments by automobile suppliers in the state bodes well for that effort.
But the news also comes at a time of uncertainty for another major project in the area. The future of CSX’s planned intermodal terminal in Rocky Mount, the Carolina Connector, is uncertain as the Jacksonville transportation company is in the midst of a strategy shift. That project has helped attract a lot of economic development attention to the area, Tolson has said.