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Michelin to idle some European capacity

On Friday, Michelin announced that it plans to reduce tire output at a number of its European facilities in response to “very challenging market conditions deriving from reductions in tyre markets in the Euro zone, mainly in southern Europe, which have reduced dramatically since the start of the year.” The company added that stock levels were also negatively impacted by a very mild winter.

One of the plants to be affected is in Dundee, Scotland, which produces passenger tires including smaller sizes that have been hardest hit by the weaker conditions. In response, Dundee will cease production for a three week period from the end of May until mid June. In addition, some of the planned holidays in July and August will be extended. The factory will use this time to accelerate certain progress actions and training programmes for its workforce. The Dundee plant, which is Scotland’s only tire plant, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, having begun production in 1972.

Michelin said that jobs will not be affected but the current market conditions have led Michelin to slow its investment in the Dundee plant to better match the growth now foreseen in these markets.

In the press release, Michelin also indicated that other of its European plants would see some additional downtime over the summer, but didn’t offer details on these plans.

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