AKRON (Feb. 4, 2002) — Goodyear has closed its Marikina, Philippines, tire plant, citing overcapacity and softening market demand as reasons. The closing affects 175 employees, and eliminates about 1,200 units of daily capacity for radial and bias-ply passenger and light and medium truck tires.
Goodyear continues to operate a second plant in the Philippines, in Las Pinas, which may absorb some of the displaced workers, pending Goodyear's business requirements, the company said.
"Despite the best efforts of our people and support from the local community, we have been unable to make the plant viable,” said Harold Smith, Goodyear's Asia Region tire manufacturing director. “The Philippines tire market has not grown at the rate originally forecasted and the market has become highly competitive with a flood of low-cost imports from China and Southeast Asia."
Goodyear acquired the Marikina plant in 1996 for $63 million from Malaysia's Sime Darby Berhad, which in turn had bought it from local investors. The plant originally was opened in 1955 by B.F. Goodrich. At its peak in 1999, the plant employed 400.
Over the past 18 months, Goodyear has closed plants in Argentina, England, Italy and Mexico and substantially reduced production at plants in England, France and the U.S. to try to balance capacity with demand.