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Goodyear ending 820 jobs in France

May 27, 2009
Westfield Republican
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Tuesday it plans to end consumer tire production at a plant in Amiens, France, as part of its strategy to reduce high-cost manufacturing. The decision announced Tuesday means Goodyear is cutting 820 of 1,200 jobs at the plant by the third quarter of 2010. The company currently employs approximately 3,500 people in France. Goodyear it will continue to produce farm tires at the plant, while exploring the sale of some of its remaining farm tire production plants, but the company said its Asia Pacific region farm tire business is not included in this potential divestiture. Goodyear sold its North American farm tire operation in 2005. Goodyear, the largest U.S. tire maker, is based in Akron. Costs at the Amiens plant were no longer competitive, said Serge Lussier, Goodyear’s vice president of manufacturing in Europe, Middle East and Africa. ‘‘Reaching a union agreement to modernize the operation proved impossible,’’ he said. There are three unions representing workers at the plant. There are no plans to reduce production at a second tire plant in Amiens, employing about 1,000 workers. The end of consumer tire production at the Amiens plant would result in the reduction of approximately 6 million units of production, which is part of Goodyear’s strategy to remove 15 million to 25 million units of capacity over the next two years. Goodyear expects a charge of about $55 million recorded in the second quarter of 2009 accounting for expected cash severance payments. Goodyear shares Tuesday closed up 83 cents, or 7.3 percent, at $12.28. AP-ES-05-26-09 1639EDT


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