‘Screwed up’ – Titan’s Taylor responds to lapsed Goodyear agri deal
The put option Goodyear had for its Amiens plant in France, which was to be sold to Titan Tire Corporation following completion of a social plan for the closing of the site’s passenger car tyre business, expired on 30 November. It now appears that Titan will drop its tentative acquisition of the European component of Goodyear’s agricultural tyre business, shredding plans first drawn up in 2009, and pursue acquisition opportunities elsewhere.
According to Titan, the unions representing factory workers in Amiens successfully delayed Goodyear’s moves to close the passenger car tyre business for a number of years, preventing Titan from taking on the agri business and its 537 employees. “It shows how screwed up things are in France when a company tries to save jobs,” commented Titan International chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor. “Titan has other acquisitions that have been on hold while the put option was still active. Now Titan will pursue those options instead of waiting for the French union to start thinking about their members.
“Titan spent a lot of time and money trying to get Goodyear’s social plan approved but only a non business person would understand the French labour rules,” added the oft-outspoken chairman and CEO. “The French workers are very good at what they do when they work but as I told the union personnel, you cannot get paid seven hours for three hours of work.”
Further details on where Titan goes from here should be outlined when the company announces its guidance goals for next year on 9 December 2011.