Michelin Will Close Kitchener Plant - Tire Review Magazine

Michelin Will Close Kitchener Plant

(Akron/Tire Review) Citing overcapacity in its broadline products, Michelin North America (MNA) will close its Kitchener, Ontario, tire plant in July.

The Kitchener plant produces BFGoodrich, Uniroyal and private and associate brand passenger tires, primarily for the U.S. market, MNA said.

Production there will continue until July 22, MNA said, with necessary production being shifted to other MNA plants in plants in Tuscaloosa and Opelika, Ala. and Fort Wayne, Ind. The plant employs 1,100 hourly and salaried workers, according to MNA.

“The decision to close the Kitchener plant was very difficult,” said Guy Pekle, president of Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. “Michelin has made significant investment in the plant, as well as its three other North American BFGoodrich plants. However, overcapacity continues to exist in this segment of the market. The competitive nature of today’s tire industry requires the company to invest and maintain production in the plants that can compete successfully in an increasingly difficult global market.”

The plant suffered a short strike last year when union workers walked off the job in a pay dispute.

The move comes on the heels of December and January announcements of plant expansions at MNA’s OTR tire facility in Lexington, S.C., and its medium truck tire plant in Waterville, Nova Scotia.

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