Michelin’s Dundee factory to close, putting 845 jobs at risk

James Warrington
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Cardboards logo of Michelin are displaye
Trade union Unite Scotland described the closure as a “hammer blow” for the city (Source: Getty)

Michelin has confirmed plans to close its Dundee tyre factory by mid-2020, saying the site is no longer financially viable.

The factory, which opened in 1971 and exclusively manufactures 16-inch and smaller tyres for cars, currently employs 845 people.

Michelin blamed the closure on a decline in demand for premium tyres of 16 inches and smaller, as well as increased competition from low-cost alternatives manufactured in Asia.

Workers were told of the closure at a meeting this morning, following unconfirmed media reports on Monday.

The SNP’s finance secretary, Derek Mackay, said: “Devastating news, not just for those who work at the Michelin plant, but their families and the whole of the city of Dundee.”

“My immediate priority is on trying to find a sustainable future for the site, that will protect jobs and I will leave no stone unturned.”

The decision to close the factory is a major setback for Dundee, which has seen an apparent revival following decades of difficulty due to the loss of industrial employment. In October the newly-opened V&A Dundee museum, which cost £80m, welcomed its 100,000th visitor.

Trade union Unite Scotland described the closure as a “hammer blow” for the city.

Michelin said: “The priority now is to provide the 845 employees of the factory with the most effective support possible to enable them to face the consequences of this difficult decision.”

“In accordance with UK legislation, Michelin will begin a consultation process with employees, employee representatives and the trade union on the closure project, and on social support measures in the next two weeks,” the company added.