Congratulations to everyone at the Michelin plant in Ballymena which has just celebrated rolling its thirty millionth tyre out of the factory since 1969.
Apparently, if you circled all the tyres beside one another, they would circle the planet!
The achievement was marked with a photo opportunity showing the first and the 30-millionth tyres made sitting side-by-side on the factory floor.
The two tyres make clear the giant leap in technology between that first basic model and the new, all-singing, all-dancing Michelin X MultiWay 3D all-weather design, according to the report in the Belfast Telegraph.
Eric Le Corre, the managing director of Stoke-based Michelin Tyre PLC, stressed that that despite being a world leader, Michelin still maintains a family ethos and is mindful of the hard work of its employees.
He said: “The firm first came to Northern Ireland when it was choosing locations in the UK because it had a good-quality workforce and that tradition continues today. It is the quality of the people here and their dedication to the job that makes the difference.
“The ones who make the difference in any company are not the top management; it is the people who make the product and that is very true in Michelin.
“In Michelin, there are no different classes.”
Wilton Crawford, the factory manager, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the Northern Ireland plant. He said: “In terms of productivity, the quality of the employees and the quality of the products made here — compared to places like China or the eastern countries — when we compare all the figures, there is no question of relocation.
“The pride and the professionalism displayed by the workers here means we command a premium for our products.
“At the Ballymena plant, we do have some of the highest energy costs anywhere in the UK, or indeed Europe, but we are working alongside the politicians to try and make some progress.
“Despite this, we are one of the top five most energy-efficient Michelin factories in the world and by next year we hope to have two wind turbines fully operational to help offset the costs.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office