EDINBURGH, Scotland — The Scottish government is setting up an "action group" to explore options to secure a future for Group Michelin's tire plant in Dundee, which Michelin said recently it plans to close by 2020, threatening 845 jobs.
Derek Mackay, Scotland's finance and economy secretary, has held talks with trade unions and Michelin managers to discuss alternative options.
Following these meetings, Mr. Mackay said he would convene an action group of interested parties "to explore all options to secure a sustainable future for the site."
An initial meeting is to be held in Dundee on Nov. 12, with the action plan to be taken forward by Scottish Enterprise and Dundee city council.
A Scottish government statement added that Michelin has agreed to look in detail at any proposals for the future of the plant from the action group or trade unions.
"I have met members of Michelin's group executive and they have agreed to consider a proposition that we will bring forward, to secure a sustainable future for the plant," Mr. Mackay said.
"Having spoken to the council, the unions, local politicians and U.K. government, I am confident there is a shared desire to work together to secure the best possible future for the site and its workforce," he added.
"We are absolutely committed to putting in the effort with the workforce, the decision-makers at Michelin, the Scottish government and other partners … to achieve a positive outcome," John Alexander, leader of Dundee city council, said.
Michelin told employees at the plant on Nov. 5 that declining demand for the smaller-sized tires produced at the plant and increasing imports of low-cost products from Asia "have made the plant unsuitable and its conversion (to produce other types of tires) is not financially viable."
The 47-year-old Dundee site manufactures only 16-inch rim diameter and smaller tires for passenger cars. The plant is rated at 25,000 tires a day.