350-jobs at risk as Avon Motorcycle Tyre Facility set to close

Cooper Tire and Rubber is to close the Melksham facility which produced solely Avon motorcycle tyres in Wiltshire

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350 employees are facing redundancy after news has broken that a facility that produced Avon motorcycle tyres in Melksham, Wiltshire, is set to close later this year.

The plant is operated by Cooper Tire and Rubber, itself a subsidiary of the tyre giant Goodyear, and previously saw cutbacks in 2018 when the plant ceased producing car and SUV tyres as production moved to Europe. Then production was moved to Siberia, although it is not yet known where the motorcycle tyre manufacturing side of the business will move to. The entire plant is now set to close by the end of this year.

The closure goes against reassurances given to retailers and customers in 2018, when Cooper General Manager, Jaap van Wessum claimed there were no plans to move production of the motorcycle tyre division.

A statement from Gavin Champion, HR Director at Cooper Tire and Rubber read:

“It is with deep sadness that we have announced our intention to begin a consultation process on the proposed closure of our tyre production facility at Melksham. 

“Our Melksham site has struggled to be competitive for some considerable time and everyone involved has worked extremely hard to keep operations going for as long as possible. However, this has become increasingly challenging in the current business environment.   

“We would like to confirm that these proposals are subject to consultation with relevant employee representative bodies, and we remain fully committed to act responsibly and fairly, and to provide appropriate support for everyone affected.”

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