Enschede, The Netherlands – Apollo Vredestein BV is planning to refocus its 73-year-old plan in Enschedet on high-performance passenger and farm tires as part of a bid to ensure long-term sustainability of manufacturing operations.
The move will see the phaseout of certain product lines, which will result in the elimination of 750 jobs over the coming 24 months, Apollo Vredestein said in a statement 5 March.
"The operating environment for Apollo Vredestein — and the entire tire industry — has changed significantly over the last few years," Benoit Rivallant, president of Apollo Vredestein in Europe, said.
Apollo said “large investments” made in recent years in modernising the plant, as well as employees' dedication had proved ineffective against the market transformation.
After a “deep analysis” of the profitability and sustainability of current products, the tire maker said it was ‘strategically adapting’ the site to secure a sustainable future in the long run.
Apollo Vredestein said its aim is to specialise the Enschede plant on agricultural tires and high-value passenger tires with short production runs.
The company did not comment on the plant's expected capacity/output once the restructuring is complete. Its capacity now is listed as 6.7 million units a year.
At last report, Apollo Tyres Ltd. listed 1,333 production-related employees at the plant, which it acquired in 2009 from Vredestein Banden BV.
Enschede is a city of about 160,000 in eastern Netherlands on the border with Germany.
Gurgaon, India-based Apollo has a second plant in Europe, near Gyöngyöshalász, Hungary, that it opened in 2017.
The plant — the company's sixth worldwide — opened with the capacity to produce 5.5 million passenger and light truck tires and 675,000 commercial vehicle tires per year.