Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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AVON TYRE FACTORY TO SHUT

The European arm of US manufacturer Cooper Tire & Rubber — which became a Goodyear subsidiary in June 2021 — is to close down its plant at Melksham in Wiltshire by the end of 2023. The factory currently makes only Avon-branded motorcycle and motorsport tyres and is the last remaining bike tyre production facility in the UK. 

Cooper has begun a compulsory consultation process on the proposed closure, involving 350 employees who now face redundancy and their relevant representative bodies. Previous cutbacks at the site in 2018 transferred car and SUV tyre output from Melksham to elsewhere in Europe, with the loss of approximately 300 jobs.

At that time, Cooper Tire Europe general manager Jaap van Wessum assured bike trade customers they had nothing to worry about. “We plan to keep the production of Avon motorcycle tyres in Melksham and may have the opportunity to grow this business,” he said. However, Cooper parent Goodyear approved a plan to streamline its global administrative structure in the second quarter of 2022. The final demise of tyre manufacture in Wiltshire is almost certainly associated with such an aspiration.

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