ANAGNI, Italy—Marangoni S.p.A. has ended production of new car and van tires at its plant in Anagni, a move that puts 400 employees out of work.
Marangoni, better known as a retreader and supplier of retreading equipment and materials, went into new tire manufacturing in 1988 when it took over the plant in Anagni from the former Ceat Pneumatici S.p.A.
Marangoni's decision came to light recently when it did not resume production following the plant's annual summer break, according to local news reports.
In a prepared statement, Marangoni said:
"Despite the huge investments of financial and technical resources made in recent years in support of production and employment (45 million since 2005) … the establishment of Anagni was unable to counter the economic dynamics of structural and market—including the increasingly popular competition of cheap tires from non-European countries—and macroeconomic related to the global crisis …."
The company also pointed out the economic maladies it faces in Europe, with demand for car tires down 13 percent there last year, including a 26 percent drop in Italy.
Marangoni did not quantify its losses from the business.
Employees affected by the closing would, according to the company, receive unemployment benefits, and Marangoni said it would be willing to "assess possible solutions with relevant organizations and parties in managing this difficult period."
The company also said it will fulfill existing orders from available stocks.
Marangoni reported new tire sales of $285 million in 2011, the last year for which data are available. That represented 43 percent of the group's sales.
The company said it will concentrate on developing its activities in the retreading and machinery and systems areas for tire production, which account for about 80 percent of the firm's remaining sales.
In recent years, Marangoni has been increasing its business in markets outside of Europe, especially in North and South America.