OPELIKA, Ala. (July 11) — Michelin North America Inc.´s BFGoodrich tire manufacturing unit plans to reduce production at the Opelika, Ala., facility by approximately 30 to 40 percent beginning in the fourth quarter.
The company cited overcapacity in the mass-market passenger tire segment in North America as the impetus for the cutback. The segment has been shrinking over the past several years and is also experiencing intense cost pressure due to imports from competitors in lower-cost countries, BFG said.
The Opelika facility has the capacity to produce about 8 million tire units per year, according to Rubber & Plastics News´ 2005 Global Tire Report.
The production cutback will result in the indefinite layoff of 30 to 40 percent of the plant´s employees. The facility employs about 1,300 hourly and salaried workers.
Detailed planning is under way for the reductions and more specific information will be available in the coming weeks, BFG said.
The Opelika plant produces BFGoodrich, Uniroyal and private and associate brand mass-market passenger and light truck tires, primarily for the U.S. market.