Large-scale demonstations are taking place today (12 February) outside Goodyear's French headquarters at Rueil-Malmaison in Paris, as government sources confirmed US tyre manufacturer, Titan, had withdrawn from the Amiens site discussions.

Goodyear plans to close the factory with the potential loss of almost 1,200 jobs, a move that has incensed unions, notably the hardline CGT labour body, which previously noted the factory had been the subject of " a judicial battle for five years."

Following Titan's decision to abandon talks concerning the Amiens plant, French Economics Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, said the government has asked the Agence Francaise des Investissements Internationaux to look for a buyer.

"In a letter to the French government, the Titan group made it known it would not return to the negotiating table, concerning Goodyear's production site," said an Economic Redevelopment Ministry statement.

"The government has launched an active search for an alternative for Goodyear's Amiens Nord plant and its staff."

Pictures in France show a large demonstration today outside Goodyear's headquarters in France, accompanied by a significant police presence.

"There was a Works Council this morning [at Rueil-Malmaison]- discussions have started," a Goodyear spokeswoman told just-auto from France. "There was a demonstration by the CGT and other unions.

"The government simply announced Titan did not want to come back in a project to buy the plant. Goodyear has no comment on what the government said this morning."