More than 29 Managers to Leave Goodyear Dunlop UK in 2007
29 managers have lost their jobs at Goodyear Dunlop UK. The job losses are part of a restructuring programme, which will cut around 100 jobs in total. The management cuts will almost exclusively be from positions at the company’s TyreFort headquarters in Birmingham, with about 69 job losses coming from non office-based staff. However, at least some of the jobs lost at Hi-Q and TruckForce depots are a question of administration, with employment simply transferring to the various holders of the new franchise agreement instead of Goodyear Dunlop itself.
The 29 redundancies are understood to include an undisclosed number of “top roles” which will be replaced during the merger of managerial functions between the Dunlop motorsport facility adjacent to company headquarters at Erdington and the Goodyear components plant in Wolverhampton. Other jobs were lost due to the outsourcing of some accounting functions to Poland two years ago.
The job cut targets are expected to be met through attrition and voluntary redundancies over the course of the next 12 months. They come as part of the manufacturer’s long-term plans to increase profitability between now and 2010. Despite the job losses staff morale is said to remain good, something that sources put down to new general manger Mark Brickhill and his team’s straightforward style.
In April Goodyear Dunlop closed its Washington, Sunderland, Dunlop tyre production facility. This is likely to generate savings of between £15 and £20 million a year, but it did cost approximately 585 jobs.
Goodyear Dunlop still employs around 700 people in the Birmingham area alone.
Restructuring means investment too
Of course Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Ltd has a more positive perspective on the subject and a press release published by Tyre Fort chooses to highlight the company’s investments in its Wolverhampton plant on the eve of the site’s 80th anniversary. According to company sources, the move “signals that we are not afraid to invest in being successful in the future.”
The investment is in new, more efficient compounding equipment. The new ‘Banbury’ mixer will be one of eight such machines at Goodyear Dunlop’s Wolverhampton plant.
The Wolverhampton Plant opened in 1927, and in recent years has been restructured to become a focused ‘Mix Centre’ specialising in a process of converting raw materials such as natural rubber, synethic rubber and chemicals into components such as tread compound which is used in other tyre factories. It also has a specialised retreading facility producing NextTread truck and bus tyres.
These Wolverhampton manufactured components are exported to other Goodyear Dunlop plants, with most of the volume going to France, Germany and to the company’s other major UK manufacturing facility at Fort Dunlop, Birmingham.
Eugene Jonker, production director stated: “This investment gives a clear signal of our long-term goal of continuously improving efficiency and productivity to improve competitiveness at the Wolverhampton plant. It will enable us to increase the number of working days at the plant by increasing our production capacity.”
The Wolverhampton plant produces over 1500 tonnes of tyre production material each week for export, and employs over 350 people.
This is the company’s second manufacturing investment in three months in the West Midlands. In October, the company announced an investment in new technology at its Fort Dunlop site in Birmingham. This included advanced tyre building machinery to produce the bespoke tyres needed to achieve success in the highest level of motorcycle racing – the MotoGP World Championship.