Goodyear to close England plant
AKRON-Goodyear plans to close its "high-cost" Goodyear Dunlop Tyres passenger tire plant in Washington, England, as part of its strategy to reduce costs worldwide.
The company said it has begun consultations with union representatives at the plant, acquired from Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. in 1999. The 36-year-old factory is rated at 12,000 tires a day with 600 employees. Goodyear did not indicate when it would close.
The closing is expected to result in charges of between $75 million and $85 million ($55 million to $65 million after-tax) but save the tire maker approximately $20 million annually.
Goodyear also said it will cease production of bicycle tires and inner tubes at its Debica, Poland, plant and take actions to cut costs in logistics, retail and administration in its European Union, Asia/Pacific and Engineered Products business units.
The actions together are expected to eliminate about 1,500 jobs and create annual savings of between $40 million and $50 million ($30 million to $40 million after tax) while costing the firm $105 million to $115 million ($75 million to $85 million after tax) in one-time charges.
Kumho Tire eyes Vietnam plant
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam-Kumho Tire Co. Inc. is planning to build a $155 million tire plant in Vietnam in partnership with a local investment company, pending final negotiations.
Representatives from Kumho and investor group Becamex IDC Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding March 29 covering the deal.
Kumho Tire President Sae Chul Oh cited Vietnam's ``political and social stability along with its vast work force and geological resources'' as reasons for considering it for a factory. The firms said they expect to complete negotiations during April.
Kumho said the 3.4 million-sq.-ft. plant would start production by the first half of 2008, with a nameplate capacity of 3.15 million radial tires a year, making it similar in scope to the Jiang Chun, China, plant due to open in 2007.
The plant near Ho Chi Minh City would be a state-of-the-art facility with the ability to make ultra-high-performance tires for both domestic sale and export to Asia, the Americas and Europe, Kumho said. The addition of this plant would raise Kumho's capacity to 64 million tires a year.
Pirelli starts new line in Brazil
GRAVATAI, Brazil-Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has inaugurated production of radial truck and bus tires at its newest plant, in Gravatai, which will supply primarily Brazil and other South American markets.
Pirelli invested $50 million to add the truck tire capacity to its existing motorcycle tire plant in Gravatai.
The new production unit, rated at 12,000 metric tons of tires a year, covers 6 million square feet and requires about 500 employees. The existing 30-year-old plant employs 1,500 and turns out 64,000 tons of products a year.
This is Pirelli's sixth truck tire plant; the others are in Settimo Torinese, Italy; Izmit, Turkey; Alexandria, Egypt; Yanzhou, China, and Santo Andre, Brazil.