Dunlop Motorsport says its focus is now on supporting employees following renewed calls for the company to stay in Birmingham.
We appreciate the support and offers made by Birmingham City Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the personal interest the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for BIS have taken in our situation following our site being sold. Over the past several months we have worked with the Council and local agencies to identify and evaluate any local site alternatives.
However our challenge has always been one of timescale and being in a position to maintain continuity of supply to our key customers. Unfortunately no other appropriate site was available locally where a factory could be established in the timescale to allow us to maintain supply to our key customers. Within our timeline, the only option was to propose to transfer production to facilities that already have the necessary infrastructure.
Our focus now is on supporting those affected employees and we continue to work with our Unions and employees throughout the consultation process.
Through the some 700 associates Goodyear Dunlop employs across its TyreFort headquarters and Wolverhampton manufacturing facility, the company remains committed to Birmingham and the West Midlands.
– James Bailey, Marketing and Communications Director, Dunlop Motorsport
GMB have announced they want to meet with Goodyear Dunlop tyres to discuss their decision to relocate after being asked 18 months ago to consider relocation to a different site in Birmingham.
GMB Regional Officer, Dominic Hicks, said:
"Despite their promises that relocating in Birmingham was an option it is clear that the company have been disingenuous with us and more importantly its loyal workforce."
"We will now seek an urgent meeting with the company to discuss this announcement in more detail. We will make sure the company meets all its legal obligations on the decision to shut the Erdington site."
GMB have said they are 'devastated' with the decision by Dunlop tyres to relocate the manufacturing of motor sport tyres abroad.
In a statement, GMB have responded to the announcement and feel the company have been 'disingenuous' after several meetings took place discussing possible relocation to another site in Birmingham.
Dominic Hicks, GMB Regional officer, said:
"GMB is devastated at the announcement made by Goodyear to move their Motor Sport business to France and Germany with the loss 240 skilled jobs to the Birmingham economy."
"Only a couple of days ago the company met with local MP Jack Dromey and Vince Cable and agreed to consider in detail alternative sites in Birmingham and in particular Aston. I am at a loss to understand how those options could have been explored in detail over such a short period of time."
Dunlop's decision to close its Birmingham factory and move jobs abroad, is "disappointing", the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has said in a statement this evening.
The Business Secretary met Dunlop to offer our help in finding a solution that would protect jobs and keep the company in Birmingham.
Whilst this is a commercial decision for Dunlop, it is very disappointing news, especially when local partners have worked hard to retain production in the area and have provided the company with a number of potential alternative sites to consider which would appear to meet its needs.
Government and local partners will continue to work with the company, to provide support to those workers affected, and to help them move into new employment as soon as possible.
– Department for Business Innovation and Skills spokesperson
241 jobs are at risk following today's announcement.
The firm's lease expires on the site near Jaguar Land Rover's Castle Bromwich plant in September, and Dunlop believes there is not enough time to relocate to a local site and maintain production before the deadline.
The union, Unite, says it is 'shocked and dismayed' at the announcement that Dunlop Motorsport will close its factory in Birmingham - causing a loss of at least 241 jobs.
On the plans to move their business to France and Germany, Unite says:
We are shocked and dismayed at the announcement made today of the closure of Dunlop Motorsports with the loss of 241 jobs.
Just four days ago they committed, at a meeting convened by business secretary, Vince Cable, with the support of Birmingham city council, to seriously investigate the possibility of relocation in the Birmingham area.
Unite will not accept the company walking away from its commitments or its obligations to fully consult the workforce on this decision and will be looking to challenge and change the decision.