GISLAVED, Sweden (Dec. 11)—The Swedish subsidiary of Continental A.G. is negotiating with local trade unions about closing its Gislaved tire plant by July 2002. A shutdown of passenger tire production would affect 774 jobs, according to a statement from Conti. The action follows Conti's decision to take a critical look at all its production sites as part of a restructuring to improve the profitability and efficiency of its global operations. The company blamed weaker demand for passenger tires and a drop in automobile output for the restructuring. Gislaved, with an annual capacity of 4 million tires, is the smallest Conti unit, and the company has stated it will focus on production plants with an output of at least 8 million tires per year. The warehouse at Gislaved with studding, wheel mounting and R&D activities, could continue in some form, said the German tire maker. The decision won't have any impact on the Gislaved brand and the sales company in Gothenburg, Sweden, Conti said.