Michelin to close truck tyre factory in France

Michelin Cholet, La Roche-sur-Yon Michelin Cholet, La Roche-sur-Yon. Photo: Copyright 2019 Google; Maxar Technologies

The Michelin Group informed the 619 employees at its tyre production facility in La Roche-sur-Yon, France this morning that it will close the site by the end of next year. In addition, 74 people at Michelin’s Cholet plant, employees working in roles related to the supply of rubber mixed to the La Roche-sur-Yon site, are also affected by the closure.

The announcement provides confirmation that the ‘Skipper’ project, which aimed to support activities in La Roche-sur-Yon with the help of a 70-million-euro investment, did not deliver the expected results. Michelin says the plant is no longer viable as the premium truck tyre market has undergone a structural change, both in Europe and overseas. The tyre maker anticipates no growth within this market segment in Europe, as well as continued intense competition and a constantly growing “entry-level brand” segment.

Michelin states that it will “give each employee concerned the opportunity to stay in the company in France.” Its favoured approach is voluntary mobility, and the tyre maker states that it will be possible to “offer each employee several positions in the Group’s other sites in France.” This measure will be supported by early retirement programmes and assistance for careers outside the company.

Beyond its legal obligations in terms of revitalisation, Michelin says it is committed to setting up in the coming weeks an “innovative initiative to transform the site,” allowing for the development of sustainable activities, which will serve the interests of the local area. Michelin will propose to trade unions and all the public and private stakeholders in the region to take part in this Michelin Group-supported project.

To finance measures related to the plant’s closure, the Michelin Group will record a provision of approximately 120 million euros in non-recurring expenses in its consolidated financial statements as of 31 December 2019.

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