Michelin to Cut Production at Polish Plant

The company does not plan to lay off any workers.

Michelin on Nov. 17 announced that it would cut production at its Polish plant in the face of falling demand amid the global economic downturn. "It's a question of adapting to current market conditions, with a drop in market demand," Michelin spokeswoman Sorina Neculescu said.

"We will carry out regular production halts from next week. They will last from a few days to two weeks. Decisions on continuing the halts or resuming work will be taken in real time, based on market conditions," she added.

During the production breaks, Michelin's staff at its plant in Olsztyn in northern Poland will either take their winter vacation or take training courses, she said. "We do not foresee any redundancies," she said.

Michelin first came to Olsztyn in 1995, and progressively took over the production sites of Stomil-Olsztyn, one of the main players on the domestic Polish tire market.

The plant, which employs 4,000 people, has become a leading exporter of Michelin tires for cars, trucks and farm machinery, a market that has been dented by the deepening global slump even though the domestic Polish economy remains relatively healthy.

Michelin's main competitors in Poland are Goodyear and Bridgestone, which also have manufacturing facilities in Poland, whose membership of the EU in 2004 made it even more attractive for international giants.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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