UPDATE 2-France's Michelin plans $510 mln plant in Mexico -documents
(Adds details of presence in Mexico, paragraphs 10-11)
By Alexandra Alper and Dave Graham
MEXICO CITY, April 6 (Reuters) - French tire maker Michelin plans to build a $510 million plant in central Mexico that will produce around 5 million tires a year and could be expanded to double production by around 2020, documents showed.
The plant in the state of Guanajuato will begin production in 2017, and will produce passenger and light truck tires, mostly for the North American market but also for Europe and Asia, according to two documents seen by Reuters.
Some of the production will be sold directly to customers as replacements, while others are destined for production lines of Mexico's growing auto sector.
"Michelin has a long-standing commitment to strengthening its operations in North America. While Michelin's interest in expanding in the region has been the subject of speculation in recent months, the company is not announcing any specific details at this time," a company spokesman said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
Guanajuato has become a major hub for automakers, with both Toyota and Ford announcing new plants in the state last year.
Rival tiremaker Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co also announced a new $550 million plant in the central state of San Luis Potosi last year.
Mexico, the world's seventh largest auto producer according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, entices auto producers with its low labor costs, free trade agreements and proximity to the United States. Continuación...