Michelin to close Dundee plant; 845 jobs to go

Michelin announced on Monday its intention to close its Dundee site — which employs 845 people — in 2020.

The Dundee site opened in 1971 and manufactures 16-inch and smaller Michelin tyres for cars.

Michelin said the plant has faced serious difficulties in recent years due to a decline in demand for premium tyres of 16-inches and smaller and “an accelerated shift in the 16-inch and smaller tyre offer towards low-cost, entry-level products from Asia.”

In a statement, Michelin said: “Despite the group’s continuous efforts, and the factory employees’ dedication to making the site economically sustainable through the implementation of several action plans – €70 million has been invested in recent years to modernise the site – the accelerated market transformation has made the plant unsuitable and its conversion is not financially viable.

“Against this backdrop, the Michelin Group has had to announce its intention to close the Dundee factory by mid-2020.

“The priority now is to provide the 845 employees of the factory with the most effective support possible to enable them to face the consequences of this difficult decision.

“In line with its principles, the group will implement a personalised support programme for each of the factory’s employees.

“In addition to enhanced redundancy packages and early retirement measures for employees at the end of their career, Michelin will propose a comprehensive plan to assist the employees concerned to start a new career as quickly as possible.

“This plan will include intensive support to find a new job, relocation assistance, and tailor-made programmes including skills retraining …

“To finance this operation, the Michelin Group will record a provision of approximately 155 million euros in non-recurring expenses in its consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2018.”

The Scottish Government’s Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “This will be devastating news not just for those who work at the Michelin plant, but their families and the whole of the city of Dundee.

“My immediate priority is on trying to find a sustainable future for the site, that will protect jobs and I will leave no stone unturned.

“I will be in Dundee on Tuesday and hope to meet with representatives of the workforce, the city council and the management team to discuss whether there are viable options for the future of this site.

“I was informed at the end of last week of the possibility of closure and immediately sought discussions with the senior management team at Michelin.

“I know the workforce and unions have gone to immense lengths to make the plant as competitive as possible to secure its future, and we will leave no stone unturned in trying to protect the future of the Dundee site.”

The union Unite Scotland said: “The workforce can be assured Unite will fight tooth and nail to save our factory, we will leave no stone unturned to keep this factory open.

“Unite will work day and night to ensure that all options remain on the table.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.