Titan shows renewed interest in Amiens Nord

Maurice Taylor may take some of those ‘so-called workers’ after all. A text published by Agence France Presse yesterday says Titan International has made an offer regarding Goodyear’s Amiens Nord site. The offer involves agricultural tyre production and covers 333 jobs for a guaranteed period of four years. In a telephone interview with AFP, French minister of industrial renewal Arnaud Montebourg said Titan was prepared to invest a hundred million euros, including at least 40 million at the Amiens Nord site.

Many tyrepress.com readers will recall that this is not Titan and Taylor’s first attempt to acquire the Amiens Nord facility, and it may be an understatement to call the previous effort unsuccessful. The prior deal began to break down towards the end of 2011, and in a letter Taylor wrote to Montebourg in February this year he claimed the Amiens Nord workforce only produced tyres for three hours a day – and spent the rest of the time either at lunch or chatting with each other. “How stupid do you think we are?” Taylor asked in response to the minister’s effort to revive the then faltering deal. “You can keep the so-called workers…Titan has no interest in the Amien (sic) North factory.”

Montebourg described Taylor’s choice of words as insulting and extremist, and displaying a “perfect ignorance” towards France. The minister maintained his point of view when he spoke with AFP this week; he said he told the Titan boss that he doesn’t appreciate him speaking ill of workers that only wish to work. Nevertheless, Montebourg concedes that renewing the relationship with Taylor is a means of keeping operations going in Amiens Nord.

Goodyear’s Amiens Nord factory currently employs around 1,200 people.

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