As has been rumored for weeks, Groupe Michelin announced that it is shuttering tire production operations in Japan, effective mid-year.
Michelin will close its lone Japan plant, located in Ota, as of July, and will shift its production to other facilities in Asia, Europe and North America.
Despite the plant shutdown, Michelin said it would retain its sales and support services in Japan, as well as its research operations there.
Michelin plans to take a 140 million euro charge on its 2009 books as part of overall restructuring plans.
“In spite of efforts made, notably since 2006, by the plant to boost its efficiency, its productivity and to cut its production costs ... production costs from the Ota plant remain twice as high as those from other plants,” Michelin said in a statement.