Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Titan already has several European plants, including one in France, so that can't really be the problem.

Titan Steel Wheels Ltd - UK
Titan Distribution (UK) Ltd - UK
Italtractor ITM SpA - ITALY
Titan Italia SpA - ITALY
Titan Intertractor GmbH - GERMANY
Titan France SAS - FRANCE
Pyrsa Piezas Y Rodayes S.A. - SPAIN

My guess is that the plant is for some reason not actually competitive, and he's just using this as an excuse to be a jerk.

by asdf on Thu Feb 21st, 2013 at 06:21:11 PM EST
Titan France SAS doesn't make tyres, but wheels for tractors and farm machines, and also imports spare parts. France is a major agricultural country with a subsidy-protected farm sector, which helps keep industrial supply of parts for the sector out of global competition.

Tyre manufacture, otoh, is extremely open to cut-throat competition. Taylor's letter said he would "buy an Indian company and pay the workers less than an euro an hour". In those conditions, no European tyre manufacturer can survive, except through quality and innovation. Which don't appear to be on Taylor's schedule. He's looking to pick up plant with first-world infrastructure behind it, and produce second-rate tyres with low labour costs. Free lunch? Or just standard locust meal?

But it remains perfectly true that Taylor is not just a jerk but a hypocrite, since he runs companies in Europe.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 02:09:45 AM EST
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