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Goodyear to exit Europe farm tire biz, close plant

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AMIENS, France—Goodyear plans to close its Amiens North farm and car tire plant and exit the farm tire business in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, ending five years of negotiations to save at least the farm tire portion of the business there.

Goodyear has presented plans

to local labor representatives to wind up production at the 54-year-old plant and shut it. At stake are 1,173 jobs.

The move to close the plant remains subject to consultation with the European Central Works Council and relevant countries' employee representative bodies where required, Goodyear said.

Henry Dumortier, chairman of Goodyear Dunlop Tires France, is quoted in multiple European news reports as saying: “We are deeply disappointed that five years of negotiations were not enough to reach a compromise with representatives of workers at Amiens Nord. Today's announcement was the only option left to us.”

Goodyear took a $74 million charge against earnings in the fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, bringing losses attributed to the plant and business to at least $230 million, according to an 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Closing Amiens North will eliminate approximately 6 million units of high-cost annual capacity, Goodyear said, although production there last year was only 1.3 million units.

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