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February 20, 2013

American Tire Manufacturer to French Governmenment Official: Drop Dead

Is this real?

It's so... undiplomatic I wasn't sure. (And the letter itself has lapses in grammar, as if written by a non-native speaker.)

But it does seem to check out, at least as far as superficial background-- Marice M. Taylor is the head of Titan Tires.

Per the letter: A French minister of Industrial Redevelopment tried to interest Titan tires in opening an operation in a shuttered plant in Amien.

Here's a snippet of the letter; more at the link.

Dear Mr. Montebourg:


I appreciate your thinking that your Ministry is protecting industrial activities and jobs in France. I and Titan have a 40-year history of buying closed factories and companies, losing millions of dollars and turning them around to create a good business, paying good wages. Goodyear tried for over four years to save part of the Amiens jobs that are some of the highest paid, but the French unions and French government did nothing but talk.

I have visited the factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three, and work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me thatís the French way!

The Chinese are shipping tires into France - really all over Europe - and yet you do nothing. In five years, Michelin wonít be able to produce tire in France. France will lose its industrial business because government is more government.

Sir, your letter states you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are?

Update: Tasker found the CEO's blog, but I can't find it. However, I found this article which establishes the take-away here: Morry Taylor is called "The Grizz" owing to his negotiating style, which is all Flying Bearclaws and Hibernation Holds and Honey Bottom Seatdrops.

Tasker shoots me his blog -- "GrizzTalk."

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posted by Ace at 03:31 PM

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