Goodyear Dunlop Tires Germany has released a statement regarding the planned closure of its tyre factory in Philippsburg, northwest of Stuttgart. The closure will occur as part of the tyre maker’s efforts to reduce overcapacity for low-margin products. A timetable for winding-down production in Philippsburg has not yet been made public, and the plant’s closure will follow negotiations with employee unions. Some 890 jobs are expected to be lost.
“The plan to close our plant in Philippsburg is a difficult choice and we’re very conscious of the social responsibility we have for our workers,” states Jürgen Titz, Goodyear Dunlop’s group managing director DACH. “It is for us a matter of concern to find socially sustainable solutions for all affected employees and to offer them further appropriate assistance.”
The Philippsburg plant’s closure and other cuts in less profitable areas come at a time when Goodyear intends to invest heavily in innovative products and technologies in order to meet growing demand for large rim diameter tyres. “Our strategy aims to increase Goodyear’s presence in the highly-complex and larger-size tyre segment, where above average rates of growth are being seen,” comments Jean-Claude Kihn,” president of Goodyear’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “Our customers want more of our premium tyres in 17-inch and larger rim diameter sizes. These are in strong demand from our original equipment customers today and will enter the aftermarket in the years to come.”