PARIS Oct 25 U.S. tyre company Titan
International still wants to buy part of the Goodyear
plant in northern France that has been earmarked for
closure, provided that unions agree, Titan's CEO said in a radio
interview on Friday.
The factory in Amiens makes agricultural and road tyres and
employs 1,200 staff. It belongs to Goodyear France, a subsidiary
of U.S. firm Goodyear which wants to close the plant because it
says the road tyres business is unprofitable.
Titan Chief Executive Maurice Taylor had previously
expressed interest in buying the factory, then ditched his plan
after visiting the plant and meeting with the union, complaining
the plant was not worth saving and the workforce was lazy.
Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said this week that
Taylor was reconsidering his position.
"He's a good guy," Taylor said of Montebourg in an interview
with Europe 1 radio. "Your minister asked me, 'Are you going to
invest, hire? And we agreed... Everyone who knows me knows that
if I make a deal, I keep my word."
Taylor's offer to buy the factory's agricultural tyre
division while abandoning road tyre production resembles his
previous offer, which would have saved more jobs but was
rejected by the CGT union.
Montebourg still needs to convince the CGT to accept any new
deal, which would save 333 jobs out of 1,200, Taylor said.
"There have still got to be some leaders at the CGT who have
a brain," said Taylor, known as "the Grizz" for his gruff
The CGT said on Wednesday it was ready "to do anything
possible" to find a solution.
Auto parts suppliers in France have been forced to scale
back operations due to overcapacity in car production and
dwindling auto sales.