In response to an overall decline in the tractor market across Europe and other parts of the world McCormick has announced steps to downsize and restructure its operations.
The company’s transmission plant in St Dizier, France, has entered administration.
According to McCormick this is a step the company must take because of the way the French legal system works.
“Placing the factory – known as McCormick France SA – into administration is part of a process we must go through to trim operating costs,” says McCormick marketing director Ray Spinks.
“In France we have to seek government approval to restructure the company, something that we don’t have to do in the UK.”
He insists that production at the St Dizier plant will continue as normal and that there will be no adverse effect on production of tractors at the firm’s Doncaster factory.
This is despite rumours that the assembly line is working just two days a week – gossip that Mr Spinks is keen to dispel.
“At Doncaster we build tractors to order, not for stock.
In actual fact for the next three weeks the factory will be working full five-day weeks to meet demand.
While overall market volumes are down, we are out-performing some of our competitors and increasing our share in places.”
He says that McCormick has to reduce its operating costs in light of the market slump – stating that the European tractor market is down by between 15% and 20% this year compared with 2004.
“It is simply a case of reducing costs.
The market is very downtrodden and we must reflect that by reducing our costs,” he concluded.
There will be up to 95 redundancies within McCormick’s UK operations.
According to the firm these redundancies are across the company in sectors from manufacturing to service staff.
A reshuffle of existing employees sees an increase in the number of area service managers from three to five while other parts of the business have been, as the company puts it, trimmed.