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Dunlop Motorsport Manufacturing Plant to Close
- Updated: February 3, 2014
A U.K. institution will be closing its doors after serving the motorsports industry for nearly a century.
Dunlop announced Monday that its motorsport tire factory in Birmingham will close in September. Production of race tires will be moved to existing manufacturing plants in Germany and France.
It comes at a loss of 241 jobs for the U.S.-owned manufacturer, a subsidiary of Goodyear, which has been primarily involved in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series as of late.
Dunlop’s 11-acre site it leased in the town of Erdington was sold to Jaguar Land Rover, which has plans to expand its neighboring facility. No suitable site was able to be found locally.
Dunlop had produced motorsports tires at the Erdington site for 97 years.
”Our strong preference was to remain on our existing site, but this has not proved possible,” said Sanjay Khanna, managing director of Dunlop Brand Europe.
“For several months, we have also worked closely with local agencies and authorities to identify local Birmingham site alternatives. Unfortunately no other appropriate site was available locally which would have provided continuity of supply to our key customers.
“We understand that this is a difficult time for our employees. It is important our attention is now focused on supporting the employees who will be affected. We will work with our unions and employees throughout the consultation process to provide support.”
The closure is not expected to impact its motorsports involvement. Dunlop withdrew from top-level U.S. sports car racing competition in 2013 to focus on the European market.