BALLYMENA, Northern Ireland — Group Michelin has ceased production at its 49-year-old truck tire plant in Ballymena, two months ahead of the factory's scheduled closing.
Michelin announced the closure of the Ballymena factory in November 2015 with the loss of 860 jobs. The decision was linked to rising energy costs and falling demand for truck tires in Europe.
The plant in years past exported a large percentage of its tires to the U.S.
The factory, which opened in 1969, is to be turned into an enterprise park comprising manufacturing, office and warehouse space, according to local media reports confirmed by Michelin.
As of March, Michelin said that 449 of the Ballymena employees already had found new employment, been relocated to other Michelin sites or have retired.