Stoke-on-Trent, UK -Â Michelin UK is to cease calendering operations at its Stoke plant with the loss of 40 jobs, and at the same time invest in its retreading operations there.
A Michelin spokeswoman said Michelin is to stop production of calendered steelcord currently shipped to Michelin's truck tyre factory in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. The Ballymena plant will be supplied from other Michelin factories. Production will cease at Stoke in March 2008 with the loss of about 40 jobs. The spokeswoman said Michelin is seeking voluntary redundancies and will try to redeploy those who wish to continue working at Michelin.
Michelin is also seeking to upgrade the remix retreading operations at Stoke. The company said plans are underway for a "multi-million" pound investment programme there which will allow the Stoke Remix plant to retread Michelin's latest tyres, which use Michelin Durable Technologies. She said the research and planning phase is expected to end in 2008 and the implementation phase begin in 2009. The investment is scheduled over a five-year period.
Even this scheme is not certain. The spokeswoman aid it will depend on the availability of external sources of funding, such as grants and suchlike. The aim, she said, was to, "safeguard the long-term future of the remix retread plant".
The spokeswoman said the upgrade will also include improvements in the working environment through the use of low-emission solvents in the manufacturing process.