8. Nokian, Hankook and Kumho suspend production
Nokian Tyres P.L.C. will halt production for at least two weeks starting March 27 at its plant in Dayton, Tenn., in an effort to safeguard the well-being of employees and the southeast Tennessee community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision came a day after Nokian said the plant would remain open, but hiring for new positions would be suspended.
During the closure, employees will be furloughed temporarily, and the offices and production equipment will be cleaned. Company officials will evaluate the unfolding situation to set a date to reopen.
The company also plans to adjust production at its Vzevolozhsk, Russia, plant, and has opened negotiations with employees at its operations in Finland about possible temporary layoffs amid the COVID-19 outbreak and slow demand in Europe.
Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. said it will stop production at its tire plants in Clarksville, Tenn., and Raclamas, Hungary, starting March 30, to protect employees from the coronavirus. The Seoul, South Korea-based company said its U.S. warehouses, including the one located at the Clarksville plant, will continue to operate.
Kumho, meanwhile, said it would begin to close down its tire manufacturing facility in Macon, Ga., as part of a response to the COVID-19 spread throughout the U.S. During the plant's closure, Kumho said the facility will cleaned and disinfected.