By Oliver Hall
Goodyear tyres has confirmed that it will stop the production of consumer tyres at its plant in Amiens by the autumn of 2010.
The US tyres manufacturer first warned that it would phase out consumer tyres production over a year ago, after workers rejected the company’s plans to modernise the French plant.
The facility also produces farm tyres and this operation will remain in place.
Serge Lussier, Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) vice president of manufacturing, explained that the Amiens facility had ‘uncompetitive cost’ levels.
He said: “Reaching a union agreement to modernise the operation proved impossible. Due to high costs and weak industry demand, the consumer tyres produced there are uncompetitive in the marketplace.”
The move will whittle down the plant’s current 1,200 employees to just 820 by the third quarter of 2010. It will also result in the reduction of around 6 million units of capacity.
Goodyear aims to remove 15 million to 25 million units of capacity over the next two years. The company expects to incur charges of $55 million from the closure, most of which will be recorded in the second quarter of 2009.
Goodyear’s second tyre plant in Amiens employs around 1,000 people and will remain unaffected by the other’s closure.