Thailand Malaysia Goodyear Michelin Plant Tyre Tire Investment

Thailand Gains Investment Momentum in Tire Manufacturing as Goodyear Closes Malaysian Plant

Thailand’s allure as a manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia continues to grow, with French tire giant Michelin announcing a substantial investment in the country’s production capabilities. The move, set to inject 300 million euros into Thailand over the next three years. This investment underscores the nation’s appeal to international investors.

Michelin’s decision comes on the heels of significant existing investments in Thailand. These investments total over one billion euros across five plants and employing 8,000 workers. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s recent visit to France saw fruitful discussions with Michelin executives. The meeting solidified the company’s commitment to expand its footprint in Thailand.

Goodyear closing plant in Malaysia

In contrast, well-known tire giant, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. unveils plans to cease operations at its Malaysian plant by June 30th. This decision will impact more than 500 employees. The move is part of Goodyear’s broader corporate restructuring initiative aimed at achieving substantial cost reductions. Malaysia has seen reduction in foreign direct investments since 2018.

The Shah Alam district plant, operational since 1972, has been a significant contributor to Malaysia’s manufacturing sector. However, allegations of labor abuses at the facility, including unpaid wages and excessive overtime, have marred its reputation. Eventually, the company reached a settlement in 2022. Goodyear Malaysian employees are not the only ones affected. The closure of the plant presents a significant challenge to Malaysia’s industrial landscape.

Stiff competition from Thailand in foreign direct investments

Amidst these developments, questions arise regarding Malaysia’s competitiveness in attracting foreign investments compared to its regional counterparts. It is evident that Malaysia faces stiff competition in retaining and attracting major investments. Thailand has proactive investment strategies and a conducive business environment.

As Malaysia grapples with the repercussions of Goodyear’s exit, efforts are underway to support affected workers through upskilling and job placement programs. Nevertheless, these measures underscore the importance of addressing labor concerns and enhancing Malaysia’s appeal to global investors to maintain its position as a key player in the region’s manufacturing landscape.

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