Michelin’s tyre plant in Dundee, Scotland has produced its last tyre. Although the facility wasn’t scheduled to close until mid-year, Michelin now says it won’t resume operations after the coronavirus crisis – indeed, it considers doing so “unviable and unwise”. The decision has been taken in agreement with the Unite union, and the company will pay plant workers all wages they’re entitled to through to the planned closure date.
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.
Halfords Group plc bought McConechy’s Tyre Service Limited, the sixth-largest tyre retail business in the UK, on 7 November 2019 for £8.5 million. This makes the newly-expanded Halfords Autocentres the second largest tyre retailer in the UK.
A photo snapped of Prince Charles visiting the Pirelli tyre plant in Carlisle has been named Regional/Local Newspaper Rota Photo of the Year in News Media Association’s Royal Rota Photography Competition 2019. Stuart Walker took the photo for the News & Star during the Prince of Wales’ visit to the Carlisle factory in April.
RG Contracting plans to move its entire fleet onto Michelin XeoBib agricultural tyres. The Scottish farming business specified the fitments on nine new John Deere tractors, and has been pleased with the results.
Michelin has added three new Michelin Auto Professional (MAP) centres in Scotland. Abbotsinch Tyres & Exhausts, in Kilmarnock, Skidz, in Falkirk, and Stewartry Tyres Newton Stewart, based on the Creeside Industrial Estate in Newton Stewart, have all been added to the network. MAP advocate dealerships get access to free on-site staff training and participation in Michelin’s mystery shopper programme, among other advantages. Michelin will also audit the centres’ digital presence while imparting advice on maximising all online opportunities; MAPS can also access TyreAssist for their customers, protecting new Michelin or BFGoodrich tyres purchased with free 24/7 roadside assistance.
Continental Tyre Group has acquired Scottish commercial fleet servicing company R&J Strang Tyre Services Ltd. The company stated that the latest acquisition represents a further step to strengthen its overall commercial fleet service offering across the UK and Ireland.
Soltyre has gained Michelin’s agricultural seal of approval for its new Airdrie dealership, marking a major achievement for the tyre specialist with all three branches now members of the pan-European Michelin Exelagri network.
In a time when the automotive aftermarket craves consistency of supply, SRS Autoparts – based in Glasgow and Edinburgh – has invested in its availability of Mahle filtration due to “overwhelming demand” from garages.
Cockburnspath-based R&C Crichton has become the first farmer in Scotland to specify Michelin’s new RoadBib tyres – designed to provide high performance, longevity and traction on machines used intensively on the road. Jamie Crichton specified the new tyres for his high-spec JCB Fastrac 4220 after hearing positive reports from Henzell Enterprises in Northumberland, one of the contractors involved in pre-launch testing for Michelin.
On 5 February plans to make Fort William a UK alloy wheel centre of excellence reached another milestone as ground engineers moved onto the site earmarked for Liberty’s flagship factory.
According to the company, the technical team moved in with their rigs and excavators for six weeks of in-depth ground investigations which will provide vital information for the design of foundations for the planned plant that is intended to manufacture wheels for at least a fifth of all UK-made cars from 2022 onwards.
Michelin calculates that closing its tyre factory in Dundee will cost the company £240 million until the end of 2021, however it expects to partially offset this cost with £60 million of savings during this period and then make annual savings of £40 million thereafter.
Work to find a sustainable future for the Michelin Dundee plant is now underway – after Scotland’s Economy Secretary Derek Mackay convened the first meeting of the Michelin Dundee Action Group yesterday. Meeting in Dundee, Mackay tasked the group with exploring what can be done to retain the plant in Dundee and how it could be repurposed in the future towards manufacturing related activity.
Scotland’s Finance and Economy Secretary, Derek Mackay, held urgent talks yesterday with trade unions and the management of Michelin Tyre Company Ltd. to discuss the future of the Dundee car tyre plant, following confirmation of Michelin’s intention to close the plant by 2020.
An analyst report published by Jefferies International Limited has stated that the closure of Michelin’s Dundee plant “supports [the company’s] intent to accelerate cost savings during 2019-20.” Presenting its nine-month 2018 results in October, Michelin warned that demand had deflated in the car and truck markets and it was revising down its guidance; subsequently Michelin shares fell to a seven-year low.