Michelin’s Dundee factory closes gates for final time

, Michelin’s Dundee factory closes gates for final timeImage copyright
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The company announced the closure in November 2018

Dundee’s Michelin factory has officially closed its gates after more than half a century of tyre production in the city.

The company announced the closure – with the loss of about 850 jobs – in November 2018, saying the factory was “unsuitable” in the current market.

The site will become an innovation centre offering loans and advice to businesses that are looking to expand.

Michelin Dundee produced more than 300 million car tyres in its lifetime.

The factory opened in 1971, with production beginning the following year.

Shift in market

Michelin said the Dundee site, which specialised in smaller tyres, had suffered because of a shift in the market towards low-cost products from Asia.

The company said that since the closure was announced, 731 of its employees had found new jobs, entered education or retired.

It said supporting the remaining employees would be the “sole focus” of a small team left behind on site for the next year.

Factory manager John Reid told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Having started the process prior to the announcement with nearly 920 people, we got down to 120.

“Clearly Covid has had an impact on that. We estimate it’s probably cost us 70 jobs.

“Had it not been for Covid, a few months ago we were looking at an outcome where we might have had 50 people still to find jobs.”

Mr Reid, who will become chief executive of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) in August, said: “We worked very hard to practically support them, but also emotionally support them.

“I think we did as best we could and I think it made a huge difference to people.”

BBC News