NS: Michelin Pictou County plant braces for big cuts

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Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. announced today it will significantly reduce tire manufacturing at its Pictou County car and light truck tire plant over the next 18 months.

Michelin plant in Pictou County

[GRANTON, NS] - Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. announced today it will significantly reduce tire manufacturing at its Pictou County car and light truck tire plant over the next 18 months. The move is 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 market has changed dramatically since the plant was built in 1971, and the company is changing with market demands,” said Grant Ferguson, president, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. “Market demand for small car tire dimensions, such as the 14-, 15-, and 16- inch tires produced at the Pictou County plant, is diminishing. Investment costs to upgrade the 43-year-old plant for larger car tire production are not cost-effective.”

By June 30, 2015, tire production at the plant will be significantly reduced, impacting about half of the current employees at the facility.

The manufacturing change will occur in two phases: by June 30, 2014, a tire manufacturing production line that produces small dimension car tires will permanently close, affecting approximately 200 employees. By June 30, 2015, the remaining tire production activity at the site will be reduced, impacting approximately a further 300 employees.

“We have a long history of manufacturing here, and we care deeply about the well-being of our workforce and the community,” said Ferguson. “We will continue as a significant manufacturing employer in Pictou County with our remaining operations on site, and we will continue to invest in Nova Scotia.”

Significant aspects of Michelin’s Canadian operations will continue at the Pictou County site. Some high-performance car tire production, tire membrane production and the existing rubber mixing operation will continue along with the company’s Canadian corporate offices.

The reduction of tire manufacturing at Michelin Pictou County will not affect Michelin’s other two Canadian tire plants in Bridgewater and Waterville, Nova Scotia.

All impacted Michelin Pictou County hourly and salary employees will have an opportunity to relocate to the company’s tire production facilities located in Bridgewater and Waterville, Nova Scotia. Severance packages are available for all impacted employees.

“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. 

Michelin remains the largest private manufacturer in Nova Scotia and has invested almost $2 billion in its operations since it began operations in 1969.  In the last eight years, from 2005 to 2013, Michelin invested $587 million in its Nova Scotian manufacturing operations.

“Michelin remains committed to Nova Scotia, as evidenced by the fact that this year alone we plan to invest a total of $66.5 million in our three Nova Scotia plants,” said Ferguson.

Investments include projects at Bridgewater to extend wire capacity, ongoing investments in the Waterville MICHELIN ® X One® January 2013 investment project, along with a $10-million investment slated for in the rubber mixing operation on the Pictou County site.

Organizations: Michelin North America, Pictou Co., North American

Geographic location: Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada Michelin Pictou Bridgewater Nova Scotian

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  • Ronald Roach
    March 03, 2014 - 13:08

    I worked for Michelin North America for 21 years from 1981 - 2002. A top notch employer who have been around more than a century, weathered fierce economic storms in a super competitive market to maintain and better their position. They cannot continue to produce yesterdays dimensions. Tough choices!