Workers at Michelin’s Dundee plant are leaving for the final time today as the manufacturer ends its half-century of operations in the city. The final Dundee-made Michelin tyre was produced on 23 March, as the Coronavirus pandemic interrupted the planned closure of the site. The Unite union agreed to the early end to production, with Michelin honouring all wage commitments until the final closure date, 30 June. The 2018 decision to close the factory was informed by the rapid increase in consumers’ preference for lower-cost alternatives within the smaller size range the factory was equipped to produce. Michelin supported efforts to find employment for staff at the factory, including the relaunch of Michelin Development, which aimed to create hundreds of jobs in Dundee and Angus.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the manufacturer of the global Falken tyre brand has temporarily shut down its factory in South Africa on government orders. All of its other tyre manufacturing facilities are currently operational, though staff at the Falken Tyre Europe headquarters in Germany are working remotely where possible, or following social distancing guidelines.
Bridgestone EMIA will either temporarily close or reduce production plants across its European manufacturing network in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its Béthune plant in France and the Bari plant in Italy will be closed until 6 April.
Apollo Vredestein is scaling back production at its European plants in Hungary and the Netherlands in addition to “taking measures to protect our workforce in line with government health advisory and measures” against coronavirus/Covid-19.
Michelin has confirmed that it has decided to close its tyre production facilities “located in the European countries most affected” countries for at least one week. Tyres & Accessories understands this means Michelin’s factories in Italy (Cuneo and Alessandria), Spain (Lasarte, Vitoria, Aranda de Duero and Valladolid) and France (Cataroux, Les Gravanches, Le Puy-en-Velay, Roanne, Bourges, Montceau, Cholet, La Roche-sur-Yon, Golbey, Avallon, Montagny, Vannes, Joué-Lès-Tours and Troyes
The Nexion Group has suspended all activities at its Italian factories and offices until Sunday 29 March. The company had managed the situation by minimising risk to its employees while continuing some business functions until now but has taken the decision to enact the closure based on current circumstances. The company, best known for the Corghi brand of garage machinery distributed by Rema Tip Top UK, states that it will use the closure as an opportunity to “check, improve and guarantee” health and safety measures currently in place at its plants.
Production at Rolls-Royce Motor Car’s Goodwood-based manufacturing plant will be suspended from Monday 23 March for two weeks. According to the company, this suspension will be followed by a pre-planned two-week Easter maintenance shutdown “in order to further secure the health and welfare of the employees of the company”.
Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa will suspend tyre production at all its European tyre and retread plants by the end of the week, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The manufacturer states that the temporary closure, which will last until at least 3 April, is “to protect its employees and respond to the sudden decline in market demand.” The closure affects the company’s plants in France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia. It also includes the Dębica plant in Poland.
Production at the Michelin tyre plant in Dundee is expected to end by the middle of this year, with around 850 jobs affected. To offset this loss, the company is relaunching its Michelin Development scheme with the aim of helping to create hundreds of jobs in Dundee and the Angus area.
Michelin’s plan to close its truck tyre factory in La Roche-sur-Yon, France took a step forward last Thursday when it signed an employee support agreement with four trade unions. This agreement with the CFDT, CFE‑CGC, SUD and FO unions followed 12 weeks of negotiations that took place between October and January.
T P Engineering Ltd (TPCATS) is closing its UK operations. The news emerged after the company wrote to customers to confirm that the board of directors of Fabriscape LDA, the owners of T P Engineering Ltd have taken the decision to stop manufacturing Catalytic Converters and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) in the UK. Closure is expected during the next three weeks.
Arlanxeo intends to close its Keltan production unit in Orange, Texas, USA in the second quarter of 2020. Arlanxeo says it will “strive to limit the impact of the closure by working in close cooperation with all affected stakeholders, both internally and externally”.