Despite the fact that the UK was in the middle of lockdown, Michelin Tyre Plc’s ultra-modern retread manufacturing operation resumed production at the end of April. In fact, according to the company, there were only two reasons that the Campbell Road, Stoke-on-Trent site paused manufacturing at all: because the coronavirus-related closures coincided with a pre-planned maintenance stoppage; and because – again due to Covid-19 – there was trouble securing deliveries of the right raw materials from the continent prior to April (see “Michelin Stoke up-and-running, looking forward to ‘steady market growth’” for Michelin UK factory manager Francois Levert’s view on how things have progressed after reopening). Therefore, Michelin UK’s retread manufacturing operation only actually endured a three-week factory shutdown. The neighbouring UK headquarters opened in mid-July and so now its truck tyre and retreading business is putting the focus on success in the new normal. This began with a communications drive that has seen the manufacturer promote the ecological benefits of retreads. Tyres & Accessories spoke with Michelin Plc managing director Chris Smith in order to find out more.
Michelin staff have produced thousands of protective face masks at a temporary manufacturing centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The masks have been used to keep colleagues, customers, and the community safe in the Covid-19 pandemic. The Michelin Athletic Club, close to its factory and office, housed volunteers and furloughed staff producing the masks following extensive training.
Michelin UK Plc is restarting operation at its retread manufacturing plant in Stoke-on-Trent, UK following as part of a pre-planned stoppage that coincided with other coronavirus-related closures around the country on 26 March 2020. In practice this means the company is planning to start receiving materials from 27 April 2020, with phased tyre production restarting from 29 April 2020.
On 23 March tyres worth £15,000 were solen from Michelin’s Stoke-on-Trent distribution centre. Police have released CCTV footage of three alleged thieves, including a clip that shows a white Iveco 7.5 tonne truck and three average build men.
Michelin Tyre has unveiled a new 53,500 square metre European Distribution Centre (EDC) at its UK headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent. The EDC came following £10 million of investment and has helped create 100 logistics and customer service jobs over the last 12 months.
In addition, work has begun on an additional 12,000 square metre warehouse for Michelin’s truck retread factory, also on Campbell Road. This new project is due to be completed by the end of this year.
Michelin has appointed Jonathan Layton, 45, as national sales manager fleet, UK and Republic of Ireland. A veteran Michelin man, Layton assumes the role after more than 15 years at the company. Layton will manage the company’s team of key account managers, ensuring a high quality of service across its car and van fleet customers.
GSF Car Parts’s ongoing investment in its UK network has seen improvements made at the Stoke branch, which now features improved LED illuminated signage. Bringing the store in-line with the company’s current corporate image, the project took roughly four weeks to complete. GSF anticipates reduced running costs thanks to lower power consumption and no more costly tube replacements.
A serious warehouse fire has delayed the launch of Michelin Lifestyle’s new Car Care Range in the UK. The products were due to be fully rolled out by the end of this month, however Tyres & Accessories understands that the factory/warehouse that was storing the products has suffered a fire and the majority of the products were destroyed. Company representatives explained: “The Car Care products are still due to launch across Asda stores nationwide, but as a result of this unfortunate event it will not be by the end of this month as planned.”
Michelin Tyre Plc is consulting on the closure of its Ballymena truck tyre factory at the same time as investing in the expansion of its Dundee car tyre and Stoke-on-Trent retreading sites. The Ballymena factory closure plans suggest the site will be run-down between now and a mid-2018 closure point. The Ballymena factory currently employs 860 people and Michelin says it is “committed to supporting those employees during consultation and in the forthcoming months”.
With recent upgrades complete, Michelin gave Tyres & Accessories a tour of its fully-automated Remix retread remanufacturing plant in Stoke-on-Trent.
Foot for foot, Michelin’s Campbell Road, Stoke-on-Trent Remix plant is one of the smallest in the Michelin group, but it is arguably also the amongst most modern and most flexible and most productive. Built at the height of Michelin’s industrial activities in Stoke, the Remix site was originally a manufacturing plant for new truck tyres. In 1968 Remix capabilities were developed and in 2000, the French tyre maker’s Encore process was added. Nowadays the Stoke location is Michelin’s UK headquarters and is therefore home to hundreds of executive, sales, marketing and administration-based employees. Across the road from the offices, over 350 are directly involved in the manufacturing process. New tyre production left decades ago, but Stoke is still a bustling centre of market leading retreading activity.