Michelin Announces Changes to Operations in France
As part of this commitment, the Group has announced that it will invest more than 100 million euros in its Clermont-Ferrand research and development centre. The upgrade program is designed to shorten time-to-market cycles for tyres and services and to enable the development of more innovative manufacturing processes. Montceau to specialize in EM/OTR tyres The company’s further specialisation of its production sites will involve a number of projects. One of these is to develop the Montceau plant into a high-performance facility for earthmover tyres and one of the two largest rubber compound centres in Europe through the deployment of a 50 million euro capital spending program.
The facility’s current car tyre operations will be consolidated with those of other plants in Western Europe. The Michelin facility in Tours will be made a “benchmark for high-tech truck tyres in Europe,” says Michelin. Plant installations there will be upgraded at a cost of 15 million euros and the rubber compounding operation there will be closed – a move that will make the facility more competitive, says Michelin – and this production will be transferred to the company’s Montceau and Cholet plants.
The production of premium tyres at the Seclin facility will end, adds Michelin, with this production transferred to the Les Gravanches plant near Clermont-Ferrand. The company’s light truck and SUV tyre manufacturing operations at the Cholet plant will be “strengthened”, the company further states, by integrating light truck tyre production from another Michelin plant in Europe. The company has not named the facility that stands to lose this production. These reorganisation projects, says Michelin, will be undertaken without laying off any staff.
Instead, The French manufacturer has announced a voluntary separation plan that is open to all employees. This plan mainly involves pre-retirement working arrangements, and will enable nearly 495 of the 1,093 employees impacted by the reorganisation to take advantage of special early-retirement measures and the other 598 to opt for internal placement opportunities. “Michelin would like all of these employees to remain with the Group, which is why each of them will be offered a choice of at least two positions at its plants in France,” the company said in a statement. It added that Michelin Development will also launch a program to revitalise the regions impacted by the reorganisation. Furthermore, Michelin says it will “refresh its age pyramid” by hiring approximately 500 people a year over the next three years.