CLERMONT-FERRAND, France — Group Michelin is ready to begin serving the automotive, agricultural and aerospace sectors again.
After halting production in mid-March at most of its European tire plants to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and transitioning operations to help make masks that protect health care workers, first responders and its own employees, the French tire maker said it is poised to resume tire manufacturing gradually and responsibly.
"Today, the group believes the time has come to gradually resume activity, while implementing reinforced health measures adapted to each site," Michelin said April 21.
Michelin is prioritizing the reopening of its Pneumatiques Kleber agricultural tire plant in Troyes, France, where activities contribute to the farming industry on a daily basis. Plants that manufacture tires for public service vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and army and transport fleets also will take top priority.
But Michelin hasn't lost sight of its commitment to serve its original equipment customers, Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux said in a statement.
Mr. Menegaux said that Michelin is a good place to resume operations. Not only does it have a plan in place to ensure the safety of its workers, it can draw on the experience of relaunching production in China.
"The successful relaunch of our activities in China, combined with Michelin's extremely strong culture of work safety, form a solid foundation for this to happen," Mr. Menegaux said.