More than 300 workers are facing redundancy tonight with the closure of the iconic Goodyear tyre-making plant in Wolverhampton.
Unions described the move as "a devastating blow".
Managing Director of Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK, Erich Fric, has given ITV Central an interview regarding the closure of the company's Wolverhampton branch.
He's said that today is a "sad day for both the company and people in Wolverhampton", but they need to consider changes to "remain competitive".
According to Fric, there are "big pressures from Asian imports into Europe" and the company currently has existing capacity in other facilities.
However, it is their aim to "minimise redundancies" if the closure does go ahead.
The Unite union which represents workers at the Goodyear plant says today's closure announcement has come out of the blue.
Shop stewards were given the news by management at 10 o'clock this morning. The proposal is for a phased shutdown of the Bushbury Lane site by January 2017 with the loss of 330 jobs.
Union regional officer Andy Taylor said the workforce would be in shock.
They were aware of a downturn in demand in Europe, which had affected production in Wolverhampton, but the timing of today's announcement was unexpected.
Wolverhampton City Council have released an official statement regarding this morning's announcement on the closure of the iconic Goodyear tyre manufacturer.