March 8, 2021

Michelin planning to convert German tire plant to cleantech park

HALLSTADT, Germany — Group Michelin plans to “revitalize” the site of its tire plant in Hallstadt — due to close by early 2021 — by turning it into a “clean-tech” light industry development center.

Michelin disclosed in September 2019 it would shut the 49-year-old Hallstadt site by early 2021, as demand in Europe for the plant’s smaller rim-diameter tires continues to drop.

The French tire maker disclosed Sept. 16 it aims to bring together “ambitious” and “interdisciplinary” sustainable mobility players in the region at the proposed Cleantech Innovation Parc Bamberg. Hallstadt is a community of about 8,500 inhabitants that’s part of the greater Bamberg city/district.

Currently at a concept stage, the parc will be joined by leading research institutes, automotive suppliers and the cleantech sector to develop a “sustainable ecosystem,” Michelin said.

The nearly 950,000-sq.-ft. facility will focus on new mobility concepts, drive systems and green cutting-edge technologies, Michelin added.

The French group said it reached an agreement with the Bamberg district and the city of Hallstadt at the end of June on cooperating on the future planning of the site.

“In order for the revitalisation… to succeed, politics, science and companies in the region must work together,” Christian Metzger, Michelin Hallstadt plant manager, said.

The closing will affect more than 850 employees at the plant in Hallstadt, a town in central Germany located about 120 miles east of Frankfurt. In operation since 1971, plant is rated at 8 million tires per year, mainly 16-inch passenger car tires, demand for which has declined sharply.

Michelin’s moves echo “positive experiences” it has had with the repurposing of a tire factory in Dundee, Scotland, which the tire maker closed in March.

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