OTA, Japan (Jan. 18, 2010)—Michelin has said it will cease production of tires at its factory in Ota, Japan, by July of this year.
The company cited high production costs. The Ota plant makes passenger car tires and light truck tire and employs 380 people.
Michelin said management had since 2007 attempted to focus production on complex products such as the X Ice, but this was not enough to make the plant profitable.
Manufacture of tires currently made at the Ota plant will be transferred to other Michelin plants producing passenger cars and light trucks tires in Asia, Europe and North America.
Michelin said it expected the costs associated with the closure and other restructuring plans to be about $590 million. This amount covers not only the Japan operation but also the plan to specialize production at plants in France, the plan to reorganize manufacturing and sales operations in North America, and a voluntary separation plan for employees in France.
Michelin said it continues to develop its operations and expand its presence in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, notably through its research and development programs in Ota, its sales operations throughout the country and its activities at Nihon Michelin Tire Co Ltd. headquarters in Tokyo.