Tire Business staff report
Mississauga, Ontario -- GPX International Tire Corp. plans to close its solid tyre plant in Mississauga before mid-year and consolidate its solid tyre capacities at plants in Gorham, Maine, and Xingtai, China.
GPX cited a weakening market for industrial tyres and strong competition from Sri Lanka for its decision, saying the Mississauga plant operates only four days a week now.
By consolidating its North American operations, GPX said it will be able to optimise production at Gorham and return it to a five-day work week. This consolidation will require an expansion of the production capacities at Gorham with a resultant increase in the workforce there.
GPX said it will move select equipment to Gorham from Mississauga as well as purchase new equipment for Gorham. It did not quantify the size of the investment or any costs associated with the closing.
GPX employs about 100 at the 60-year-old Mississauga plant, which it obtained in its 2006 acquisition of Maine Industrial Tire Ltd.
The firm will move the commodity-type tyres produced in Mississauga to a solid tyre production line at its Hebei StarBright Co. Ltd. plant in Xingtai.
Wheel production and wheel-making equipment at Mississauga will be moved to GPX's specialty wheel factory in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, where GPX anticipates having to hire additional workers for the expanded production.
These steps will allow GPX to reduce costs in North America and improve services to its client base.
By moving production of price-sensitive commodity products to China, GPX will be able to better compete with the entry level tyres and tyres coming in from Sri Lanka, the company said in a press release posted on its Web site. At the same time, by expanding the facility capabilities in both Maine and Pennsylvania, GPX said it can continue to respond quickly to specialty products orders.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)
Press release from GPX