CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Michelin is set to close a number of tire production facilities in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany, cutting more than 1,600 jobs and postponing a project to add earthmover tire capacity in India.
The French tire maker said the decision to consolidate the businesses was in response to slowdown in the European new and retread truck tires market.
“The competitive environment and the economic crisis of the past few years have lastingly affected the European tire market and, in particular, the market for new and retread truck tires,” the company said in a Nov. 3 news release.
The tire maker will reorganize activities in the United Kingdom and in Italy, which in addition to site closures, will include an investment of $290 million to modernize production and the logistics network in these countries.
In the United Kingdom, Michelin will be refocusing its activity on growth segments of the passenger car and light truck tire, and retread markets, the company said, adding that $94 million will be invested in this strategy before 2020.
Michelin said it was closing down its truck tire factory in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, in light of “difficulties the site has been experiencing for several years.”
According to the tire maker, very aggressive competition and manufacturing overcapacity on the truck tire market, heavy logistics costs due to plant location, and high production and energy costs were among the main challenges at the site.
Michelin employs 860 at the site and said that an employee consultation process will begin immediately regarding the run-down proposal.