Following Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK’s proposal to close its Wolverhampton mixing and retreading facility, Tyrepress spoke to the managing director of Goodyear Dunlop UK, Erich Fric, who explained the business reasons for the decision. “We’ve taken the decision to put this proposal forward based on the economic environment, and in order to keep our companies competitive in the long term,” Fric said.
The proposed closure of Goodyear Dunlop’s Wolverhampton retread plant will bring to an end 90 years of tyre production in the city. The factory was part of the first Goodyear factory outside USA, when the manufacturer first started producing new tyres in the city in response to post-World War One import tariffs designed to boost British industry. At its peak, the manufacturer’s operations in Wolverhampton were estimated to have provided more than 7,000 jobs, making it one of the most significant players in the local economy. This role diminished throughout the 2000s, as Wolverhampton job losses became a regular occurrence.