After four years of conflict, a solution seems in sight for part of the 1350 "Goodyear" site north of Amiens. The U.S. group Titan International, specializes in agricultural tires announced Tuesday the acquisition for 130 million dollars (96.7 million euros) a part of the activities of agricultural tires Goodyear-Dunlop.

The transaction is expected to close during the first half, for Latin America and especially the production unit of Amiens-Nord. Titan International and save 530 jobs threatened site in 1350 of Amiens Nord, one of them controlled by Goodyear-Dunlop in the city. But Titan and resumed at this condition for consultation with unions and implementation of a plan to safeguard employment (PSE) for the 820 employees of another division, "passenger tires," based on the same site .

The task of the management of Goodyear is not easy.It hopes, with this operation, a situation unlock stalled for months. "We're not Molex said Henry Dumont, general manager of Goodyear France. We take our responsibilities. We want to implement the plan to safeguard employment as complete as possible with the least possible impact, while strengthening our activities in Amiens. "Without saying more:" We must first inform the unions, otherwise we risk the offense of obstruction, "says Henry Dumont credit score.

Bridgehead

With 3,800 employees, and four sites, Goodyear present in France since 1909, has no intention to close the plant without leaving a forwarding address, but for U.S. manufacturing, it is time to act.

"The tires produced by Amiens North are 25% more expensive than in Germany. And not even talking about China, "said Henry Dumont.The CGT, the majority union at the site north of Amiens has not, according to management, accepted changes in the organization of work as opposed to employees of Amiens Sud. This site produces only passenger tires high end (including "Goodyear efficient grip) now works" 4 × 8 hours (four shifts of 8 hours in rotation).

With this acquisition, Titan International have the right to use the Goodyear brand in Europe but also holds an important bridgehead on the continent. The division agricultural tires "last year generated $ 564 million in sales, or 77% of the activity of the group last year. The year 2009 had ended on a loss of nearly $ 25 million against 13.3 million profit in 2008. But analysts said the situation improved in 2010.