WOLVERHAMPTON, England (Feb. 13, 2003)—Goodyear Dunlop Tyres U.K. is considering ending tire production at its Wolverhampton plant but continuing mixing, calendering and retreading operations at the closure-threatened facility.
The company put forward the scenario in a Feb. 7 statement in response to media speculation following a “high-level” management/union meeting at the site, said James Bailey, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres spokesman.
The meeting, which was requested by the unions, did not produce any new proposals for improving the competitiveness of the plant, Mr. Bailey said.
Instead, the management repeated comments made previously by Lowell Dunckel, Goodyear's senior vice president, global product supply, about the plant's future.
According to the management: “There is a market requirement for Wolverhampton products for the foreseeable future, particularly in the areas of mixing, calendering and retreading.” The Wolverhampton unit currently supplies compound and materials to Goodyear's other U.K. facilities at Washington and Birmingham, England.
But, said the company, “Cost competitiveness continues to be a major challenge, especially in the areas of passenger tires, radial light truck tires and farm (tires), and the situation will continue to be under review.”
Wolverhampton employs 1,100.