750 jobs to go at Apollo Vredestein’s Netherlands plant

Certain tyre sizes can no longer be made profitably in Enschede

A meeting between the management of Apollo Vredestein BV (AVBV) and employees took place today to discuss the future of the company’s tyre factory in Enschede, the Netherlands. The workforce was told that Apollo Tyres intends to “specialise” production at the site in order to ensure profitability. Measures related to this realignment include reducing AVBV’s personnel by approximately 750 full-time employees over a period of 24 months.

According to the company, certain tyre sizes can no longer continue to be produced in Enschede at a sustainable and competitive level within the “current operating environment.” It says it must specialise on high-value tyres in order to secure a sustainable future in the Netherlands. This means focusing upon agricultural tyres as well as high value, niche segment passenger car tyres with a short production run. “The plant in Enschede will become the centre of excellence for quality, innovation and production agility,” comments parent company Apollo Tyres in a statement issued today.

“The operating environment for AVBV and the entire tyre industry has changed significantly over the last few years,” shares Benoit Rivallant, president of Apollo Vredestein in Europe. “Despite large investments made in recent years in modernising the plant, the factory employees’ dedication and continuous efforts to make the site economically viable, has proved ineffective against the accelerated market transformation and has required a strategic adaption of the site to secure it has a sustainable future in the long run.

“After a deep analysis of the profitability and sustainability of the products currently produced in the Enschede plant, we regrettably could not arrive at a different conclusion,” Rivallant continues. “We are aware that our employees and their families will face a great deal of uncertainty as a result of this difficult decision. They are a committed and dedicated workforce throughout the many years and that has strongly influenced our attempt to secure a sustainable future.”

“As a responsible employer, we will comply with all statutory obligations towards our employees. We will regularly inform our employees about developments within this process and offer them all necessary support and assistance.”

In mid-2019, Apollo Tyres’ chief financial officer stated there would “not be a further ramp-down in the Netherlands.” Gaurav Kumar anticipated at the time that the Enschede plant’s capacity for passenger car tyres would remain at just under 4 million units per annum for at least the next three years.

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