Goodyear to Cut Production in France
Goodyear Tire & Rubber is planning to reduce tyre production at its two factories in Amiens, France. The production cuts will lead to a reduction of up to 500 employees at the plants and follows employees rejection (in October 2007) of company plans to modernize and renovate the plants. According to the company, the cuts are being made because costs are not competitive. Goodyear employs about 3,800 people in France, of which 2,700 are in the Amiens 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 tyres impacted by the move would be transferred to other, lower-cost factories in Europe and elsewhere. Some products will be eliminated. There have so far been no details of which lines will be eliminated or exactly where production will be transferred.
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 tyres. 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.