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Goodyear, in the fourth quarter of 2003, will record rationalization charges of about $155 million and an accelerated depreciation charge of $100 million in connection with the closing. The company estimates the total cash payments to be approximately $85 million, $65 million of which will be expended over the next three years. Goodyear anticipates annualized savings of approximately $100 million.
"The decision to close the Huntsville plant is based on Goodyear's need to reduce capacity in North America," stated Jonathan D. Rich, president of Goodyear's North American Tire business unit. "The Huntsville facility has been one of our highest cost plants to operate. This difficult action is another necessary step in our turnaround plan for North America."
"We realize that this is a very difficult time for our associates, their families and the community of Huntsville," explained Rich. "We will provide resources to help our associates through this transition as they seek other employment opportunities."
Hourly associates will be given priority consideration for preferential hire at the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, AL. Associates who are not hired at other Goodyear facilities, and those who choose to retire, will receive additional benefits as part of the closure. Outplacement services and vocational training benefits will also be provided to affected associates.
The tire lines currently produced in Huntsville will be transferred to other Goodyear facilities in the United States.
Goodyear is the world's largest tire company. Headquartered in Akron, OH, the company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 85 facilities in 28 countries. It has marketing operations in almost every country around the world. Goodyear employs about 92,000 people worldwide.