(Paris – January 15th, 2010) - On January 15th, 2010, Michelin announced plans to end tire production at Ota in Japan in July 2010.


Michelin is continuing to develop its operations and expand its presence in Japan and the Asia Pacific region, notably through its research and development programs in Ota, its sales operations throughout the country and its activities at Nihon Michelin Tire Co Ltd. headquarters in Tokyo.


Despite measures taken, in particular since 2006, to improve productivity, reduce production costs and, from 2007, refocus on the production of complex products such as X Ice tires, the production cost at Ota plant remains around twice as high as those of other plants serving that tire segment. The situation has been exacerbated by the economic crisis that began in 2008. The plant employs around 380 people.


The manufacture of tires currently made at the Ota plant will be transferred to other Michelin plants producing passenger cars and light trucks tires in Asia, Europe and North America.


Michelin is holding discussions with employee representatives at the Ota factory in order to rapidly deploy measures to enable employees affected by the closing to find jobs, either within Michelin Group, in particular in Ota site in Japan, or elsewhere.


A provision will be set aside for restructuring costs related to this project. This will be in addition to the other non-recurring expenses to be booked in Michelin Group for 2009, which are estimated approximately at € 410 million. This amount covers not only the Japan operation but also the plan to specialize production at plants in France, the plan to reorganize manufacturing and sales operations in North America and a voluntary separation plan for employees in France.


Nihon Michelin Tire Co Ltd. has been in operation since 1978. Its headquarters are located in Tokyo.

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