French tire manufacturer Michelin is to pare back its manufacturing workforce in the country, in response to what it refers to as profound, structural shifts in the global tire market, led by an influx of low-cost products.
The company says it intends to improve its competitiveness by up to 5% a year in corporate and administrative activities and by up to 5% a year in manufacturing operations, which may vary depending on a plant’s particular activities and competitive environment. This, it states, could see the loss of around 2,300 jobs over the next three years (up to 1,100 positions in office roles and up to 1,200 in its plants).
It claims that nearly 60% of the projected layoffs would be based on voluntary early retirement opportunities and the remainder on Group-supported voluntary severances. For each job eliminated, Michelin says it is committed to help create another, either through the development of its new businesses or through its participation in local job market revitalization programs.
To support its simplification and competitiveness plan, Michelin notes it will commit capital expenditure to modernize its plant-based and office-based activities, with a focus on automation, digitalization, ergonomics and environmental excellence.
“The ultimate goal of this project is for France, the birthplace of Michelin, to remain a key country in the Group’s strategic transformation in the years ahead,” said Florent Menegaux, CEO of Michelin. “Our economic responsibility is to improve our overall performance while developing new high value-added business projects. This business responsibility has to go hand-in-hand with a highly demanding commitment to social responsibility, to work with our unions and employees to forge consensus solutions that are as balanced as possible, and to do everything we can to provide exemplary support to people and our host communities in these transformations.”