In light of the news of Halfords acquisition of National Tyres and Iverson Tyres, Tyres & Accessories contacted various National Tyres and Halfords executives for comment on the subjects of branding and branch closures. In response, company spokesperson confirmed that the bulk of Axle Group businesses will be rebranded under the Halfords moniker with one or two exceptions.
The president of the Hauts-de-France region has labelled Bridgestone’s planned closure of its Béthune tyre manufacturing plant “brutal” and a “premeditated assassination.” For good measure, Xavier Bertrand added “we are dealing with cynics and liars” in his strongly-worded response to Bridgestone’s announcement. In a joint statement with the French government, Bertrand’s Hauts-de-France Region called on the Bridgestone group to “assume its responsibilities,” alleging that the company’s divestment from and allocation of low-margin tyres to the Béthune plant over the last decade has “automatically” led to its deficit in competitiveness.
Following the closure of Continental’s Aachen, Germany tyre production facility, Tyres & Accessories asked representatives of the company’s UK operation (Continental Tyre Group) what the impact will be on local customers. In short, the company is aiming to continue “high quality” service.Following the closure of Continental’s Aachen, Germany tyre production facility, Tyres & Accessories asked representatives of the company’s UK operation (Continental Tyre Group) what the impact will be on local customers. In short, the company is aiming to continue “high quality” service.
Bridgestone has announced its plan to close its Bethune plant in France. The manufacturer said that the measure is being used to reduce production overcapacity and to improve cost efficiency. The proposal could impact 863 employees. Bridgestone added that it is “fully aware of the social consequences of this project and is committed to using all means at its disposal to define support plans for each employee.” The earliest the closure would take place is the second quarter of 2021. Bridgestone’s presence in France would continue through sales and retail operations, in which it employs about 3,500, the company said.
German tyre retailer and fast fit network ATU has announced plans to close up to 45 of its least profitable outlets. It says this culling of the weak is being carried out as a means of “strengthening the entire company.”
Lay-off talks between Vredestein and employees at its Enschede factory in The Netherlands have not resulted in an agreement. The talks were prompted by the management’s announcement in early March that the firm is moving much of its production to Hungary. Since this will result in laying off around 750 of the 1,200 employees, a works council was developed in order to formulate an alternative proposal. However, according to various local news reports, the proposal was not received positively by the company management.
Autoparts UK, Midwest Motor Factors and Monmore Autoparts will temporarily close until at least Monday 13 April. As part of Arnold Clark, the company is making resources available to the NHS and frontline workers, including the provision of 400 vehicles free of charge. Arnold Clark employees have also responded to the government’s call for help and are volunteering within the NHS and are also providing roadside recovery, emergency repairs and parts for all emergency vehicles where necessary.
In mid-June US president Donald Trump announced plans to impose 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods. However, the above round of tariffs was actually an additional wave that followed as part of the Trump administration’s ongoing trade war with China. Steel is at the centre of this dispute, with President Trump suggesting that China is dumping steel in America. But now US tyre cord makers could close due to steel tariffs.
Bridgestone Europe has confirmed the planned closure of two sites in Germany operated by its Rome, Italy-based Bridgestone Technical Center Europe S.p.A. The facilities in Bad Vilbel, north of Frankfurt, and at the Nürburgring are expected to close this autumn.
In what it calls a “series of decisions that adapt its industrial and service activities in Clermont-Ferrand,” French tyre maker Michelin has announced the closure of a retreading facility at its headquarters site and a further 164 job cuts in its Engineering operation. At the same time, the company has outlined plans to invest €90 million into projects at three Clermont-Ferrand locations.
The Belshina tyre plant is scheduled to re-start production today (1 April 2015) after production ceased on 26 March, according to the Belarusian Independent Trade Union various (BITU), in a move that is seen as indicative of wider economic concerns and is blamed on low-cost Asian tyre imports.
Artur Mikhalap, BITU chairman, commented: “The plant stopped completely, reason unknown to me, but the thinking is the same as in most enterprises – no market. Warehouses are filled up. According to my information the plant stopped only for five days, until April 1.
A council decision that will force the closure of ATS Euromaster’s Altrincham branch has been described as “madness” by the fast fit network’s group estates manager. The company hopes to convince Trafford Council to either allow the outlet to co-exist alongside the new £70 million development in Oakfield Road, or otherwise invite ATS Euromaster to be a part of the project.
The First Stop network began with the opening of two service centres in the UK in 1994, and over the following two decades grew into a pan-European retail chain boasting almost 2,000 outlets in 25 countries. On its website, First Stop says this “success story continues”, however in one market the network’s presence may soon suffer a hefty setback. Our German sister magazine Neue Reifenzeitung reports that First Stop has commenced a restructuring and consolidation programme in Germany, and in a worst case scenario this could lead to the closure of up to 21 Bridgestone-owned First Stop centres in the country – out of a total of 64 – before the end of this year. This potential slashing of numbers follows the closure of five outlets in 2013. Neue Reifenzeitung notes that at present no concrete plans regarding branch closures have been announced, and it is not yet clear which 21 of the 64 outlets are threatened.