French tyre maker Michelin sells its activities in Russia

By Dina Kartit

(Reuters) – French tyre maker Michelin said on Friday it was selling its Russia Tyre Manufacturing Company (MRTMC) and Camso CIS in Russia to Power International Tires, a tyre distributor in the country.

The group did not provide details on the sale price.

A group’s spokesman did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. The agreement, approved by local authorities, will keep 250 jobs, mainly based at Michelin’s sole Russian plant in Davydovo, the group said.

The Davydovo plant, located near Moscow, employs 750 people. It produces up to 2 million tyres per year, mainly for passenger cars for the Russian and some Northern European markets.

Michelin said it was impossible for every employee to be transferred to Power International Tires and so those who wished to leave the company would be allowed to do so “under good conditions”. The French company had been present in Russia since 1997 and became the first international tyre company to open its own production plant there in 2004. It announced last year that it was suspending industrial activity in Russia and exports to the country because of supply chain difficulties following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Following the announcement, Michelin said that sales in Russia represent 2% of the group’s total and 1% of its global car tyre production.

The tyre industry has been hit hard by Western sanctions on Russia, which have cut off supplies of critical raw materials and shuttered factories that supply customers outside Russia.Michelin said in April that the termination of its activities in Russia led to a 25% decline in volumes in the first quarter of this year.

(Reporting by Dina Kartit; edited by Jason Neely and Sharon Singleton)