Michelin to close tyre factory in France

Paris, Oct 10 (AFP/APP): Tyre maker Michelin said Thursday it would close a French-based factory with 619 employees next year as competition from cheaper Asian manufacturers knocks its profit margin.

Two weeks ago, the French company announced the closure of a factory in Germany with 858 employees by 2021, and last year said it would shutter a plant with 845 employees in Scotland.

Regarding the closure of its plant at La Roche-sur-Yon in western France, Michelin promised a “support plan” for affected employees, and said it would offer every one a chance to remain in the company in France.

It would also seek out “a major public-private project” in a bid to relaunch the failing site.

Michelin said 74 people who work at a factory in nearby Maine-et-Loiret, manufacturing rubber for the site in La Roche-sur-Yon, will also be affected.

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Michelin has been hit hard by the lacklustre performance of the auto industry.

Its CEO Florent Menegaux said last month that a 70-million-euro ($77-million) investment had been unable to save the site at La Roche-sur-Yon.

He blamed “difficulties in the market for high-end heavy-duty tyres both in Europe and abroad”, coupled with “increased competition”.

By the end of last year, Michelin employed about 110,000 people in different countries, including 20,000 in France.

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