AACHEN, Germany—Continental A.G. is delaying the proposed closure of its Aachen tire manufacturing plant as part of an agreement reached with employees for a "socially responsible" discontinuation of operations at the site.
The facility will continue tire production with up to 1,200 employees throughout 2021 and will gradually phase out manufacturing by the end of 2022, Continental announced April 27.
The company originally planned to cease manufacturing at the site by the end of this year. In addition, up to 500 employees are to remain at the tire plant in 2023, Conti said without giving further details.
Continental said the process will be accompanied by a comprehensive training initiative to enable employees to make the direct transition "from work to work."
For employees close to retirement age, the extension will simplify the transfer to a statutory pension.
"The discontinuation of tire production in Aachen is painful. We are aware of the consequences of this step for our employees, and we stand by our responsibility," said Ariane Reinhart Continental Executive Board member for human relations.
The agreement will help the ongoing talks on the viable reuse of the factory premises, according to the German manufacturer.
Continental said it would discontinue tire production at its Aachen site in September last year. At the time, the group cited declining capacity utilization levels at all its European tire plants for the decision.
Continental's tires business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide.
The tire plant in Aachen, which employs 2,000 people, is "the smallest and the most cost-intensive" site in the company's European production network, according to Conti.