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Goodyear temporarily shuts down manufacturing plants in North & South America, Europe

The Akron-based company made the decision 'in response to the sudden decline in market demand resulting from the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.'

AKRON, Ohio — The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is shutting down production at all of its manufacturing facilities in North America, South America, and Europe through at least April 3, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The decision comes "in response to the sudden decline in market demand resulting from the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic." The Akron-based company operates 17 other locations in the United States, four in the rest of North American, seven combined in South America, and 17 more in Europe (along with a European headquarters in Belgium).

In a filing to the SEC announcing the initial European closures, Goodyear said, in part:

"These temporary measures will be implemented in full agreement with local social partners and in a way to allow prompt production startup when public health and market conditions improve. Around the world, Goodyear has also implemented smart working and social distancing measures at its facilities to do its part as a global company to help slow the pandemic."

Goodyear already shut down its Chinese locations last month, and its tire plant in Peru was idled last week. The latest moves will affect production at the Akron global headquarters, as well as at the development center in Hebron, near Columbus.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began in December, Goodyear's stock has plummeted, dropping from $16.60 a share to just $4.57 on Wednesday. The entire U.S. stock market has taken a tumble as the country essentially has ground to a halt in a effort to combat the virus.

88 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio, with the majority being in the Northeast region of the state. The disease has so far killed nearly 9,000 people worldwide, including 150 in the United States.

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