LASARTE, Spain-Groupe Michelin may be planning to concentrate all standard motorcycle tire manufacturing at its Lasarte plant.
The French firm plans to spend $10 million to ``convert the facility into its single world center for conventional tires used for motorbikes,'' according to a report in the Spanish publication ``Gaceta de los Negocios.''
The report said production from other sites would be moved to Spain in due course.
Michelin declined to confirm or deny the report. However, a company spokesman did speak about the firm's consolidation plans.
``Michelin is currently looking at specialization in plants,'' the spokesman said. ``We have said we are going down that road, but we need to plan the whole project.
``All the pieces need to fit together in the proper way and we will not make any announcements until the whole manufacturing process has been properly planned,'' he said.
``There are many things at stake here: massive machinery movements, people and factories,'' the spokesman said.
Michelin currently makes motorcycle tires at four European factories in addition to Lasarte: Bourges and Cateroux in France, and Cuneo and Turin/Dora in Italy.
All these units make other types of tires as well, except Turin/Dora which is exclusively motorcycle tire production.
A few years ago, Michelin said the Turin/Dora plant was scheduled for closure, but the factory still was in production during the last year.