Goodyear investing 16.5 million euros in Montluçon motorcycle tyre production, ends light-truck tyre making
Following the news that it is consulting on the closure of the Cooper Melksham tyre factory, Goodyear has announced that it is set to invest 16.5 million euros into the “modernisation” of its Montluçon, France tyre production plant over the next 18 months. The news also marks the end of light truck tyre production at Montluçon. Prior to the announcement, the production of two-wheel tyres accounted for 50 per cent of the site’s activity and the site has also made motorsport tyres during its recent history.
Indeed, the plan is to make Montluçon, which already hosts an R&D facility, into a European centre of excellence for the production of high-end motorcycle tyres. As a result, Avon-branded motorbike tyres, which were previously made in Melksham, will now be amongst those made in Montluçon.
In parallel with the investment into motorcycle tyre production, Tyres & Accessories understands that Goodyear also plans to reallocate the light truck tyre capacity currently located at Montluçon to the company’s other existing manufacturing facilities in the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
However, despite the end of light truck tyre production, the investment in Montluçon’s two-wheel tyre production operations is expected to maintain staff headcount at around pre-announcement levels. The Montluçon plant currently employees around 540 full time workers, according to local newspaper La Montagne.
Local unions were something between cautious and satisfied in response to the news of the double-digit-million-euro investment. “We are not going to take action on the spot, we are going to read the project and take a step back,” David Guillaume, CGT representative of the Goodyear-Dunlop site in Montluçon, told La Montagne.
Goodyear manufactures the Dunlop RoadSmart IV tyre, which was launched in 2022, in the Montluçon factory.
Goodyear reported sales worth 435 million euros in France in 2021, according to local news reports.