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MTD Exclusive: Pirelli, Kumho Provide Updates on U.S. Plants

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MTD Exclusive: Pirelli, Kumho Provide Updates on U.S. Plants

Will Pirelli Tire North America Inc. and Kumho Tire Co. Inc.’s United States plants resume production soon?

In comments shared exclusively with MTD, Pirelli North America CEO Pietro Berardi says Pirelli “is evaluating the possibility (of making) a partial restart” at its consumer tire plant in Rome, Ga., “towards the end of April but continues to monitor the situation daily.

The heavily automated plant, which opened in 2002, can produce 1,700 consumer tires per day at maximum capacity, according to MTD research.

“The Rome facility has been thoroughly sanitized in preparation” and following “strict COVID-19 protocols, based on our experience in China and Europe,” according to Berardi.

Kumho’s consumer tire plant in Macon, Ga., “is currently shutdown for the protection of our employees” and in response to “the decrease in OE (tire) demand,” Yong-Sik Shin, the top executive within the company’s America Business Division, told MTD.

However, the facility “will soon be operational again at the beginning of May for added support.”

The plant, which opened in 2015, can produce 11,000 passenger tires per day at full throttle, according to MTD data.

Other tire manufacturers that have either restarted or have announced plans to resume production at their North American plants include:

  • Bridgestone Americas Inc., which restarted production at its two U.S. commercial truck tire plants – a facility in LaVergne, Tenn., and another in Warren County, Tenn. – the week of April 13. Combined, the plants have a maximum capacity of 15,200 units per day, according to MTD research. Bridgestone’s consumer tire plants in North America are scheduled to reopen in May.
  • Hankook Tire America Corp., whose consumer tire plant in Clarksville, Tenn., resumed production on April 20 after a three-week freeze. At full capacity, the factory can build 13,900 units per day.
  • Yokohama Tire Corp., whose commercial truck tire plant in West Point, Miss., is scheduled to restart on April 27. The facility, which opened in 2015, can manufacture up to 3,000 units per day at full throttle, according to MTD data.

And next week will mark the reopening of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s U.S.-based consumer tire plants, which, together, have the capacity to make 97,000 units a day. The factories are in Findlay, Ohio; Clarksdale and Tupelo, Miss.; and Texarkana, Ark.

Stay tuned to for updates on manufacturing activities.

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