PARIS (Reuters) – The French government plans to discuss in two or three weeks time with all involved parties alternative scenarios for a French plant that tyre maker Bridgestone is considering closing, Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Monday.
The French government is looking into options to try to save jobs and prevent the closure of the Bethune tyre plant in northern France that Japan’s Bridgestone <5108.T> plans to shut.
“We have agreed (with Bridgestone) to have in 2 to 3 weeks a meeting … to review the different scenarios which are alternative scenarios to a site closure,” Pannier-Runacher said after visiting the plant.
The state mandated Accenture to make an appraisal of all options <ACN.N>.
With 863 employees, the factory has daily production capacity of about 17,000 tyres. Bridgestone has began talks to close the factory in the face of low demand for its main product, low-profile tyres.
A spokesman for the tyre maker said the company’s priority was to carry out an “in-depth” study of alternative projects to reconvert the site with or without Bridgestone.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; editing by David Evans)