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February 27, 2020

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Michelin stands with China against the COVID-19 epidemic

MICHELIN stands together with China in the battle against the COVID-19 epidemic and will safeguard staff’s health as the company resumes work, said Kamran Vossoughi, president and chairman of Michelin China, during an interview last week.

Workers’ health and safety is top priority of the company. According to government regulations, multiple prevention methods have been implemented by the company, such as arranging some white-collar employees working from home, temperature monitoring and registration system for both staff and visitors before entering working area. In addition, Michelin has introduced strict meeting and canteen management to avoid people gathering as well as sterilization.

“As a corporation that sees staff as family member, Michelin strives to ensure its people’s health and safety while resuming production quickly,” Vossoughi said.

Since February 10, Michelin’s three plants in China have all resumed production, under strict standards and permission from local authorities. Among them, the resumption rate of tire production reaches 100 percent in Shenyang, northeast Liaoning Province, and over 60 percent in Shanghai.

Despite the negative impact by the epidemic in short term, Michelin China hasn’t adjusted its growth forecast for 2020. “Real gold is not afraid of fire,” says Vossoughi, as he holds confidence in winning this battle and leading the company back to track.

“Expectations for the Chinese market will not be lowered as the demand is still huge. I believe we will walk out this epidemic soon with our effective measures and active spirit.” He said.

To back the frontline medical workers, on January 26, Michelin China donated 3 million yuan (US$427,000) to Wuhan Charity Foundation and provided transport for curbing the epidemic.

Apart from the relief efforts, Vossoughi has also expressed full support toward the prevention and control measures taken by the government and the transparency of information revelation after the epidemic outbreak.

As a Shanghai “citizen,” Vossoughi views the actions made by local authorities as necessary and effective, despite the inconvenience they may cause. These days he has to work from home and needs to take body temperature measurement to exit or enter the compound, which he thinks important.

What impressed Vossoughi most is the epidemic prevention guide in the city. It has been translated into multiple languages showing warmth and efficient city management that no minority group is ignored.

Vossoughi described himself as companion of Chinese people who goes through this epidemic with them together. Despite having been in China for less than a year, he never once thought about leaving.

“Michelin will make it through the hard times and maintain both safety and production. I feel pleased to be able to stick with China to conquer the epidemic,” said Vossoughi. “The spring is just around the corner. Zhongguo Jia You! (Go! China!)”


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