Goodyear Plans Production Cutback in France Due to Lack of Competitiveness
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today announced that its European Union business unit is planning to reduce tire production at its two factories in Amiens, France, because their costs are not competitive.
The action will result in a reduction of up to 500 employees at the plants and follows a rejection in October 2007 by employees of company plans to modernize and renovate the plants.
“We have communicated extensively with the trade unions, explaining the need for major changes. These changes would increase our competitiveness. Unfortunately, they have rejected the plan to improve competitiveness. Therefore, we have no choice but to reduce our costs as the plants are currently uncompetitive,” said Serge Lussier, Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East and Africa vice president of manufacturing.
Goodyear said production of some tires impacted by the move would be transferred to other, lower-cost factories in Europe and elsewhere. Some products will be eliminated.
Lussier said the plan presented in October 2007, requiring an investment of approximately $75 million in the two plants, would allow them to become more competitive, particularly through the supply of high performance tires. This would require a new work pattern, involving four rotating crews working eight hour shifts, including weekends. The plants would run for 350 days a year, maximizing their usage.
Goodyear employs about 3,800 people in France, of which 2,700 are in the Amiens plants.
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