The NGK Spark Plugs factory in Meung-sur-Loire will cease operations at the end of 2023. This is not entirely a surprise for the 77 employees. Since the start of the Russian boycott, the company had lost 40% of its business.
The announcement was brutal, this January 10, 2023: the NGK Spark Plugs factory in Meung-sur-Loire will cease its activities at the end of the year. However, the surprise is not total, “We were warned that the future would be dark“says Jeremy Guillon staff representative. The company had already lost 40% of its activity in recent months, and yet: “A partial but not complete cessation was expected“he assures.
The war in Ukraine led to a ban on exports of spark plugs for the automotive industry in Russia, which explains this drastic drop. Add inflation, supply problems, the end of heat engines for 2035, and the ax quickly fell.
For nine months, the 77 employees were regularly invited to stay at home, paid, without really knowing what happened next. However, they remember a time, not so long ago, when overtime was piling up in order to manage to overcome a well-filled order book. Now he announces:investment pays off“, thus hoping for a starting envelope up to it.
“Today, we are told that we are not viable, that the competition is much cheaper than we are today. “explains Jeremy Guillon. An announcement that leaves him bitter:”We are part of the collateral damage on the decisions to boycott Russia, and those of the government concerning the shutdown of thermal engines from 2035“.
Faced with this observation, he expects solutions from the public authorities: “What will happen to support an industry like ours, which works mainly for the automobile?“
On this “Synergie” activity zone, the company had been established since 1991. It was one of the first, and the mayor of the town, Pauline Martin, is counting on a company continuing to operate it. She wants to see a buyer take over the buildings again, on a site in the immediate vicinity of the A10: “It is an area that is in high demand, because it is well positioned, and I have good hopes of succeeding in requalifying the land, and the employees behind it.“
Will then begin support for employees, to enable them to find work, in the sector, or to retrain. In the parking lot of the Julien Maillard company, one of the employees is rather fatalistic: “We’ll start looking for a new job and then…“
Pauline Martin seems less worried, explaining that the sector remains attractive: “try to enhance their skills. MGK has already announced its desire to find solutions, ideally in the same labor pool.
Interview by Nathanaël Lemaire
Closure of the NGK factory in the Loiret: the part of the boycott of Russia