Bridgestone To Close Tyre Factory In France Due To Low Demand
Published On 16-Sep-2020
According to the company statement, the proposal could impact 863 employees
Japanese tyremaker Bridgestone on Wednesday announced its plan to cease activity at its Bethune plant in France. According to the company statement, the proposal could impact 863 employees.
Given the challenging long-term evolution of the industry in the European passenger tyre market, Bridgestone has to consider structural measures to ensure the reduction of its production overcapacity and improve its cost efficiency, said the company in a release.
It further added that “after carefully studying all the potential options, the company announced during an Extraordinary Works Council today it intends to stop all activity at the Bethune plant, as it is the only viable path to safeguard the competitiveness of Bridgestone’s operations in Europe.”
“Closing the Bethune plant is not a project we are taking lightly. But there is no other solution to overcome the challenges that we are facing in Europe. This is a necessary step to ensure that we preserve the sustainability of Bridgestone’s business in Europe,” said Laurent Dartoux, CEO of Bridgestone EMIA.
He further added that this project is no reflection on the engagement of the employees, nor on their many years of commitment to delivering high quality products for our customers, it is a direct result of a market situation that Bridgestone needs to address.
This project would not take place before the second quarter of 2021. Bridgestone will continue to keep a high presence in France, notably through sales and retail operations with about 3 500 employees.
Over the last years, Bridgestone has taken several measures, including attempts to increase the competitiveness of the Bethune plant. These have proven to be insufficient and Bridgestone has been losing money on tyres produced in Bethune for several years. Considering the current market dynamics, no improvement in the situation is foreseeable, the company added.