According to information from our sister publication in Germany that has since been confirmed by Michelin, yesterday the tyre maker informed employees that it has initiated talks with the works councils and employee unions at its sites in Karlsruhe, Trier and Homburg. Whether Michelin intends to streamline its operations at these locations or close them entirely is not yet known.
Three months ago, Goodyear announced it would cut up to half the jobs at the tyre factory in Fulda, Germany. Consultation with the trade union IGBCE and the plant’s works council commenced in June. These discussions came to nothing – last Friday, union and works council representatives announced that the Goodyear negotiator had unilaterally declared the talks a failure and ended them.
Goodyear is cutting up to 50 per cent of the jobs at its tyre factory in Fulda, Germany, which will result in “a similar sized” cut in tyre production, the tyre manufacturer announced today. Since around 1100 people are employed at the Fulda tyre factory, that means around 550 jobs will be cut. The news comes as a result of Goodyear’s review of its manufacturing footprint.
Despite a first-quarter 2023 net loss of $101 million, down $197 million compared with $96 million of positive income 12 months ago, Goodyear executives tried to shine a positive light on the US-based tyremaker’s latest financial results. Volumes may have been 3.2 million units lower than the same period last year at 41.8 million units, but net sales grew 1 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2022 and 4 per cent excluding foreign currency effects. And Goodyear EMEA is back to breakeven, but that wasn’t enough to avoid talk of accelerated cost-cutting measures.
The news that Goodyear lost $104 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 won’t be welcome in the company’s Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The official figures also confirmed projections a fortnight earlier that EMEA’s own fourth-quarter 2022 loss of $80 million would make up the lion’s share of the red numbers. Back then, Goodyear’s Ohio-based global executives announced plans to cut 5 per cent of the firm’s global salaried workforce and official statements featured implicit references to the underperformance of the EMEA region, raising questions about how many jobs would be cut in Europe.
In the absence of specific information regarding Goodyear’s plans to cut 5% of its salaried workforce worldwide, uncertainty exists as to where the axe will fall. But it appears Luxembourg has been spared the worst, with media firm RTL Luxembourg reporting that Goodyear has “no official plans” to make staff redundant there. But this doesn’t mean they’ll be entirely unaffected by the tyre maker’s belt-tightening.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is planning “rationalization and workforce reorganization” actions that would result in a 5 per cent reduction in salaried staff globally, or about 500 positions. According to executives, the move has been prompted by the “challenging industry environment and cost pressure driven by inflation.” However it is also attributed to weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results:
The EU ban on tyre imports from Russia has hit one company particularly hard: Nokian Tyres. Prior to February 2022, the Finnish manufacturer produced 17 million tyres a year in a factory near St. Petersburg, 82 per cent of its global output. Ten million of these were exported, mainly to Europe. This has no longer been possible since 10 July, with consequences for Nokian Tyres’ Central Europe sales region.
During the second quarter of 2022, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company approved a plan related to the integration of Cooper Tire. This plan aims to streamline the company’s global administrative structure by reducing duplicated positions, and it will also result in the closure of “redundant” Cooper Tire warehouse locations in the Americas. According to Goodyear, the plan will result in “approximately 490 job reductions.”
Continental has announced a reorganisation within its non-tyre business that will lead to the closure of one of its factories in Germany and affect up to 870 jobs. These changes are taking place within the company’s ContiTech group sector and specifically apply to the Mobile Fluid Systems (MFS) business area, and are occurring as the sun continues to set over Germany’s ICE vehicle sector.
Approximately 100 jobs will be cut at the Goodyear tyre factory in Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg under plans to relocate production of low-volume tyre lines to other Goodyear plants in Europe that have the required capacity and resources for the job. It appears the tyre maker intends to complete this restructuring process within the coming 12 to 18 months.
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.
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.
Employees at Continental AG’s Aachen, Germany tyre factory were informed that the plant will be closed by the end of 2021. According to the German Handelsblatt newspapter, more than 1,800 employees will be affected by the closure. The announcement comes two weeks after Continental announced cost-cutting plans aiming at saving 1 billion euros by 2023.