U.S. Markets closed

Goodyear to shut down UK manufacturing plant, cut 360-390 jobs

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. company logo is seen in Westminster, Colorado August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (GT.O), the largest tire maker in the United States, said it would shut down its Wolverhampton, England manufacturing plant and transfer production to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to cut costs.

Goodyear also said it would transfer consumer tire production from its plant in Wittlich, Germany to the EMEA region.

The plans could result in about 360-390 jobs being cut, subject to consultation with employee representative bodies Goodyear said on Thursday.

The restructuring is expected to improve the EMEA region's operating income by about $30 million per year beginning in 2017, Goodyear said.

EMEA, in which Goodyear has 17 manufacturing plants, is the company's second-largest market by revenue after North America.

However, Goodyear's performance in the EMEA region has been hurt of late by a stronger dollar and increased competition from rivals such as Michelin, Continental and Pirelli.

Goodyear had about 67,000 employees worldwide as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing.

The restructuring would result in charges of about $70 million-$80 million, of which $30 million would be recorded in the current quarter, the company said.

Goodyear closed its plant in Amiens, France and stopped producing farm tires in the EMEA region last year.

The company recorded about $95 million in charges related to severance and closures in 2014.

Goodyear said it expected to complete the restructuring by the end of 2016.

The company's shares rose 0.3 percent to $31.43 in early trading on Thursday. Up to Wednesday's close, the stock had risen about 10 percent this year, compared with a 4.5 percent rise in the Dow Jones U.S. auto parts index (.DJUSAP).

(Corrects paragraphs two and three to make clear the job cuts will be for plants in Wolverhampton, England and Wittlich, Germany, not just Wolverhampton, England)

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)