GRANTON, N.S.—French tire maker Michelin said it plans to “significantly reduce” production at one of its Nova Scotia plants due to the facility’s inability to meet industry trends.
Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. said it plans to scale back production at its plant in Granton, N.S., over the next 18 months “in response to a continuing shift in the North American car tire market to larger size tires and the limits of the existing plant.”
The cuts will take place in two phases, according to the company, with the first set to take effect by June 30, when it will close a production line at the plant that makes “small dimension” tires.
200 employees will be affected by the line closure.
The remaining tire production at the site will be reduced by an undisclosed number by June 30, 2015, impacting a further 300 employees.
The plant currently employs about 1,000 people.
“The market has changed dramatically since the plant was built in 1971, and the company is changing with market demands,” Michelin Canada president Grant Ferguson said in a statement.
“Market demand for small car tire dimensions, such as the 14-, 15- and 16- inch tires produced at the Pictou County plant is diminishing.”
Ferguson said investing in the plant to allow for production of larger tires is “not cost-effective.”
The company said operations at the facility will continue with the production of some performance car tires, as well as tire membrane production and rubber mixing.
Michelin’s Canadian corporate offices will also remain at the site.
“We have a long history of manufacturing here, and we care deeply about the well-being of our workforce and the community,” Ferguson said.
The company said all employees impacted by the cuts will have the opportunity to relocate to Michelin’s tire production plants in Bridgewater and Waterville, N.S.
Operations at those plants will continue, according to Michelin.
Severance packages will also be available for employees impacted by the cuts.
“We will work closely with all Michelin Pictou County employees affected by this decision to assess their situation and to help determine their best option and their choice moving forward—whether they will be able to retire, transfer to another position or transfer to another Michelin location in Nova Scotia,” said Ferguson.