US Goodyear to close Tennessee tyre plant by end of 2011

10 February 2011 14:30  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Goodyear plans to close its tyre plant in Union City, Tennessee, by the end of 2011, affecting 1,900 jobs, the US-based international tyre major said on Thursday.

The closure was part of the company's strategy, announced in 2009, to reduce high-cost manufacturing capacity, Goodyear said.

The Tennessee plant closure would, when completed, eliminate about 12m units/year of capacity and was the final action in Goodyear’s plans to eliminate up to 25m units of high-cost capacity globally, the company added.

"While we are committed to manufacturing in North America, all of our plants must be cost competitive and be able to demonstrate sustainable world-class productivity,” said Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer.

“That is not the case with this plant, and as a result, the market has moved beyond what the factory is able to build," Kramer added.

The announcement came as Goodyear reported 2010 fourth-quarter sales of $5.1bn (€3.7bn), up 14% from the 2009 fourth quarter. Tyre unit volumes were 45m, up 4% from the 2009 fourth quarter, the company said.

Goodyear said it expected the global tyre industry to continue its growth in 2011, with volume expansion across all regions.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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