Michelin to close Dundee tyre factory

Michelin has announced plans to close its Dundee tyre factory within the next couple of years.

The firm said the site, which has 845 employees, has faced “serious difficulties in recent years”.

Its troubles have been blamed in part on cheaper tyres coming in from Asia.

The trade union Unite described the move as a “hammer-blow” for Dundee, saying closure would be a “betrayal” of the workforce who have worked to make changes at the site.

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The Scottish Government said it will “leave no stone unturned” as it tries to find a sustainable future for the plant.

In a statement on its website, Michelin announced its intention to shut the factory, which opened in 1971, by mid-2020.

It said: “Despite the Group’s continuous efforts, and the factory employees’ dedication to making the site economically sustainable through the implementation of several action plans – 70 million euro has been invested in recent years to modernise the site – the accelerated market transformation has made the plant unsuitable and its conversion is not financially viable.

“Against this backdrop, the Michelin Group has had to announce its intention to close the Dundee factory by mid-2020.”

Michelin said it will implement a personalised support programme for each of the factory’s employees and that it will work to help create 845 new jobs in the area.

It is to begin a consultation with employees and trade unions on the closure plans over the next fortnight.