PARIS (June 12) — Michelin´s Japanese subsidiary will cease production of tires at its Ohta, Japan, plant for export and refocus manufacturing efforts on tires for the domestic replacement and original equipment markets.
The restructuring, for which Michelin will take an $81 million charge against first-half earnings, will affect about 60 percent of the plant´s output. Michelin said the unit would "adjust its production capacities accordingly" but did not say what effect, if any, the move would have on employment.
The 43-year-old Ohta plant, majority control of which Michelin acquired in 1988 from Okamota Industries Ltd., has a capacity of 500,000 units a month with 450 employees, according to the Rubber & Plastics News Global Tire Report. The plant is operated by Nihon Michelin Tires Co. Ltd.
Michelin said the measures are intended to make the Ota plant more responsive to revitalize the product portfolio and increase its sales in Japan.
Among the changes will be more focus on complex products like the X Ice tire, which was designed especially for the local market. The Ohta plant also will provide support for Michelin´s research and development center in Asia, thus strengthening the group´s research operations in Japan.