France asks Japanese tyremaker Bridgestone to shut down Bethune plant


A Bridgestone logo can be seen at the company’s Bethune tire plant, which Bridgestone in Japan plans to close, France, September 17, 2020. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol / Files

PARIS (Reuters) – Japanese tyrant Bridgestone has decided to “close the door” to its Béthune plant in northern France, the young economy minister Agnès said on Thursday.

Bridgestone said in September that it wanted to close the plant amid weak demand for its main product, low profile tires.

The government will fight to ensure it remains an industrial site, however, and work on possible new offers for the site, Pannier-Runacher said after meeting with Bridgestone and representatives of the plant in Bethune.

“Bridgestone is leaving the Bethune site. We will be there alongside the employees to find the best possible solutions, ”Pannier-Runacher told reporters, adding that the tyremist was unwilling to invest in the plant due to overcapacity.

With 863 employees, the plant has a daily production capacity of approximately 17,000 tires.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Matthieu Protard; Edited by David Evans and Alexander Smith


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