Multi-brand car maintenance network Mobivia and French retreader Black-Star, with the support of Bridgestone, have signed an agreement for the development of an integrated tyre recycling ecosystem on the site of the former Bridgestone tyre plant in Béthune, France.
Black-Star Retreads to be Sold through Bridgestone Outlets
Casings for the new plant will be collected in Mobivia's auto centres (Norauto, Midas and Carter-Cash), before being sorted and retreaded at the new plant.
According to Mobivia, the project will capitalise on the know-how and equipment of the Béthune site, of which it will use 25% of the surface. For the most part, it will generate jobs compatible with the skills of former factory employees. The project, which aims to create 200 jobs in Béthune, is scheduled to start in January 2022, with a ramp-up as the business develops.
This project constitutes a new stage in the development of a multi-technology industrial hub in Béthune, initiated by the agreement between Bridgestone France and SIG, the development and real estate subsidiary of the LOG'S group, for the acquisition and development of the site. The announcement also follows the signing of a revitalisation agreement worth 16 million euros to promote the creation of activities and the development of employment in the region.
Fabien Derville, President of Mobivia, commented; “After more than 20 years of developing 22 end-of-life management channels for used products from our Norauto, Midas, Carter-Cash and ATU networks in Germany, we are entering a new era that aims to extend the lifespan of collected products. A few months ago, we started the regeneration of lead batteries to give an additional life cycle for 1/3 of used batteries. It is now around tyres that we are continuing our commitment, contributing to the development of industries of the future on French territory, in particular in Hauts-de-France, with a project at the heart of Mobivia's mission statement: “Opening sustainable mobility to all."
Jean-Baptiste Pieret, President Black-Star, added; "The tyre is being reinvented in Béthune through the conversion of part of the former Bridgestone site into an integrated ecosystem: collection, sorting, recycling and reconditioning of tires. An ambitious industrial project, which aims to meet contemporary ecological challenges and in response to more sober, more reasoned consumer expectations. Mobivia and Black-Star are participating in the emergence of a center of excellence around sustainable mobility in the Hauts de France territory, by placing re-industrialization and local jobs that cannot be relocated at the heart of the takeover system.
To do this, membership must be strong, unanimous and concrete by equipping you, us, local authorities with eco-responsible tyres "made in Béthune"! "
Daniel Giroud, Sales Director and member of the executive committee of Bridgestone EMIA, in charge of finding take-over solutions and new activities for the Béthune site and the region, concluded; “The implementation of this first project is good news. which gives concrete expression to the site's reindustrialisation dynamic that began several months ago. Bridgestone continues to keep its commitments made to employees and to the region. We are in fact providing this project with essential support from a financial point of view (aid for the hiring of former employees), operational (sale of the machines necessary for the project for a symbolic amount), commercial (by supporting the sale of tyres reconditioned in our distribution networks - Speedy, First Stop and Côté Route-) and technical (IT support, training). In addition, it is part of our strategic objectives to use 40% sustainable materials by 2030, then 100% by 2050, since retreading can reduce the quantities of raw materials used in the tyre by 80%."