Michelin announces closure of Dundee tyre factory with loss of 845 jobs

Written by Jenni Davidson on 6 November 2018 in News

The company has said the site had faced “serious difficulties” in recent years with a drop in demand and increased competition from Asia

Dundee - Image credit: Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0 Universal

Tyre company Michelin has announced that it plans to close its factory in Dundee in mid-2020 with the loss of 845 jobs.

The company has said the site had faced “serious difficulties” in recent years and despite attempts to modernise the site and make it financially sustainable it has become “unsuitable” and “not financially viable”.

This is due to competition from cheaper tyres from Asia and drop in demand for the smaller premium tyres that are manufactured at the site.

Last year Scottish Enterprise gave the company £4.5m for new production machinery at the Dundee factory to support increased demand for larger tyres.

Finance secretary Derek Mackay said the announcement was “devastating news” for the city and promised to leave “no stone unturned” in trying to find a future for the site.

He said: “This will be devastating news not just for those who work at the Michelin plant, but their families and the whole of the city of Dundee.

"My immediate priority is on trying to find a sustainable future for the site, that will protect jobs and I will leave no stone unturned.

“I will be in Dundee on Tuesday and hope to meet with representatives of the workforce, the city council and the management team to discuss whether there are viable options for the future of this site.

"I was informed at the end of last week of the possibility of closure and immediately sought discussions with the senior management team at Michelin. 

"I know the workforce and unions have gone to immense lengths to make the plant as competitive as possible to secure its future, and we will leave no stone unturned in trying to protect the future of the Dundee site."

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard MSP said: “This is devastating news for the Michelin workforce and their families, the city of Dundee and the wider Tayside community.

“My thoughts are with them.

He added: “The Michelin factory in Dundee has provided not just hundreds of well paid jobs, but much needed skills and training to a city which has suffered greatly as a result of deindustrialisation.

"It is now key that the Scottish Government does everything it possibly can to keep the factory open and protect jobs.

“This should include working closely with Michelin, trade unions and the Dundee community to provide urgent clarity on the current situation.

"Scottish Labour stands ready to provide constructive support to help Michelin workers and keep the factory open."

Union Unison said if news of the closure was true, it would be a “hammer blow” for Dundee and the manufacturing industry across Scotland.

Unite Scottish Secretary, Pat Rafferty, said: “Unite has been aware of the challenging market situation facing the Michelin Group.

“This has been primarily due to the cheap foreign imports from Asia and as a result falling demand for premium tyres in smaller dimensions, which the Dundee factory specialises in producing.

“If the media reports are confirmed by Michelin, this will be hammer-blow for Dundee.

“It would be devastating and a betrayal of the workforce who have made major changes to working practices at the site in order to secure its long-term future.

“The workforce can be assured Unite will fight tooth and nail to save our factory, we will leave no stone unturned to keep this factory open.

“Unite will work day and night to ensure that all options remain on the table.”

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