BRUSSELS — Goodyear is suspending operations at its tire and retread plants in Europe, starting at the end of this week and running until at least through April 3 in response to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goodyear said the measure is being taken to protect its employees and in response to the sudden decline in market demand.
The company also said it continues to evaluate production plans with respect to its North American operations and other operations around the world, while also monitoring and managing its inventory levels and supply of raw materials.
The European initiative includes 11 tire plants in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Slovenia, which collectively employ nearly 12,000 workers, according to data published in Tire Business' Global Tire Report.
In order to maintain service to customers, warehouses will remain operational on a reduced staffing schedule, Goodyear said, with "strong social-distancing practices" in place to protect the health and well-being of employees and business partners.
These temporary measures are being implemented in full agreement with local social partners, Goodyear added, and in a way to allow prompt production start-up when public health and market conditions improve.
Elsewhere, Goodyear has implemented recommended working and social-distancing measures at its facilities to do its part as a global company to help slow the pandemic.