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Crawford is named Michelin manager

Tyre maker Michelin has appointed a factory manager to head up operations at its Ballymena plant. Wilton Crawford (right) has taken over the role from Graham Whitehurst, who recently moved on to another role within Michelin in France.

Florida-born Mr Crawford has over 20 years of experience at Michelin, the majority of which was gained at five different locations in the US.

Mr Crawford said he was looking forward to the challenge posed by his new post. “Having spent a large degree of my working life in the United States, I am delighted to be taking on this very important role in a European plant. I am looking forward to continuing the success story we have here at Ballymena and leading the factory to further successes,” he said.

“We do face some major challenges for 2010 given the current global economic climate, but I am confident we as a team here at Ballymena, will rise to that challenge and continue to deliver the quality, productivity and excellence that underpin all the work we do here at the Raceview Road site.”

The plant’s former factory manager, Graham Whitehurst — who worked at the Ballymena site for over 12 years — has moved on to a new role as the co-ordinator for the company’s Michelin Manufacturing Way programme, based at Michelin Group headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

The Ballymena factory manufactures over 1.4 million truck and bus tyres each year, mostly for export. Having opened in 1969, it celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and currently employs around 1,000 people.

Belfast Telegraph