NEW YORK (June 26, 2008) — Goodyear said it will shut down a tire plant in Australia, move a factory in China, and spend as much as $1.8 billion in the U.S., Latin America and Europe to improve its global competitiveness.
The company plans to close its 47-year-old Somerton, Australia, passenger and light truck tire plant, a move that will cost 600 jobs and complete the firm's strategy announced two years ago to reduce about 25 million units of capacity in high-cost facilities. The closing of the South Pacific Tyres Ltd. factory will end Goodyear's presence in Australia, leaving Bridgestone Corp. as the only tire maker in that nation.
In China, Goodyear intends to spend up to $500 million to expand capacity at a new facility in Dalian.
Goodyear said it will invest $500 million to $700 million over five years to modernize four U.S. tire plants to boost production of higher value-added tires and improve cost efficiency. A spokesman said the four plants are Gadsden, Ala.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Topeka, Kan.; and Danville, Va.
In Latin America, Goodyear will spend as much as $600 million to expand production in Brazil and Chile, and in Europe, it has budgeted about $500 million to modernize and expand production in plants in Germany and Poland.