CLERMONT—FERRAND, France-Michelin is planning to revamp two plants in France, concentrating production on one type of tire each to improve the factories´ competitiveness.
Michelin presented the plan to the secretary of the Central Workers Committee at its plants in Bourges and Cholet, France.
Michelin intends to transfer light truck tire output from Bourges to Cholet and concentrate production at Bourges on radial aircraft tires. The facilities will become benchmark production centers in their respective lines in Europe, the company said.
The transfer, which will cost $29 million, will increase Cholet´s annual capacity for light truck tires 60 percent to about 4 million units, Michelin said. Two-thirds of Cholet´s production is exported, Michelin said.
At Bourges, Michelin will invest $21.4 million starting next year to double capacity for radial aircraft tires, supporting what the company calls a massive switch to radials by the aircraft industry, both commercial and military. Michelin has invested nearly $14 million in Bourges during the past four years.
By 2008, the plant will account for more than half of Michelin´s radial aircraft tire production.
Michelin didn´t say what effect the changes will have on employment. The company said the project is part of its strategy of optimizing its industrial facilities in France to have a competitive and sustainable production base in the country.