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Goodyear has already closed plants in Washington, the United Kingdom; Upper Hutt, New Zealand; and Tyler, Texas. ((Paul Sakuma/Associated Press))

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said Thursday it will end tire production in Valleyfield, Que., in a move that will affect 1,000 workers.

The company said the Valleyfield facility southwest of Montrealwill become a materials mixing centreby the end of the second quarter of 2007 and employ about 200 people.

Goodyear said the cut in capacity and staffin Valleyfield is related to its ongoing global strategy to reduce excess high-cost manufacturing capacity.

"In today's intensely competitive and increasingly global business environment, we face some very difficult choices," said Jon Rich, president of Goodyear's North American tire business.

"The decision to discontinue tire production at Valleyfield is one of those necessary steps to make Goodyear more competitive," Rich said in a release.

Elimination of tire production in Valleyfield will reduce Goodyear's excess high-cost tire manufacturing capacity byseven million units. The company said that will bring its total capacity reduction to 21 million units compared with original targets of 15 to 20 million units by 2008.

Goodyear said the closure will cost it between $115 million and $120 million US for restructuring and depreciation charges. The company also expects annual cost savings of approximately $40 million US.

Goodyear has already closed plants in Washington, the United Kingdom; Upper Hutt, New Zealand; and Tyler, Texas.