Factory produced its very first tyre in 1969

The Michelin factory in Ballymena.
The Michelin factory in Ballymena.

The Ballymena Michelin factory produced its first tyre on December 3, 1969 and currently employs 860 people on a site that covers 45 hectares (112 acres), according to the company website.

The factory produces bus and truck tyres with more than 70 per cent of its total production capacity being exported, chiefly to north America.

A small percentage of production is supplied to UK vehicle manufacturers and replacement markets.

In the UK, the Michelin Tyre Company Ltd began in 1905 and is now, more than 100 years later, involved in tyre making and tyre industry training to economic development and publishing.

The company was begun in 1889 by Michelin brothers André and Édouard, who ran a rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

A cyclist whose pneumatic tyre needed repair turned up at the factory one day.

Édouard was enthusiastic, and he and his brother worked on creating their own version of a pneumatic tyre that did not need to be glued to the rim.