Continental triples flat tread production in Mexico
Continental Tire the Americas LLC has made a significant investment in its tread rubber plant in central Mexico.
"The result is that Continental now has the ability to cap more than 1.2 million truck tires annually with our ContiTreads," said Paul Williams, executive vice president for truck tires in the Americas, at the company's annual commercial dealer meeting in Bonita Springs, Fla., on Jan. 6.
“We first opened the ContiLifeCycle tread rubber manufacturing plant in May 2011 with the intent of supplying our ContiLifeCycle retread licensees and company-owned plants throughout our current footprint of the U.S., Mexico and the Andean region, and expanding in the near future to include the Mercosur countries," he told more than 150 dealers from the United States and Canada.
“Due to overwhelming demand, today I am happy to announce a multi-million dollar investment at this central location, which is occurring more than a year earlier than anticipated.”
The investment includes a capacity increase (the addition of a curing and finishing line), and doubles the size of the manufacturing facility to allow for additional space for both raw materials and work in progress. The facility will have a footprint of more than 43,000 square feet. Production of Continental’s ContiTread flat treads already has been tripled.
An additional expansion, which involves another curing and finishing line to be installed, has been planned for 2014.
Williams attributes the growth of the ContiLifeCycle business to two things:
1. the need for fleets in the Americas to have an economical lifetime truck tire solution, and
2. the high level of interest from dealers in each country.
“It’s been absolutely phenomenal, how many dealers are approaching us and wanting to be a part of this new business for Continental. We know that the ContiLifeCycle has a lot to offer as far as independence for retreaders, excellent products and great support."
To date, Continental is offering 14 ContiTread tread patterns in various widths and depths, and the portfolio continues to expand, said ContiLifeCycle Manager John Barnes.
“The new truck tires we release beginning in 2012 will be evaluated for production as ContiTreads. The majority of these product launches will immediately include a retread component with the same pattern as the new tire, and performance just like it as well. So this year marks the beginning of our seamless transition from new products just available to the market to ContiTreads as well, making even greater availability of a true lifetime product.”
The meeting also included the introduction of Continental’s “Solutions for your Business” meeting concept, which involves a multitude of tools and seminars to help dealers navigate the fluid business climate of the 21st century and the tire industry. Director of Marketing Clif Armstrong explained that dealers at the meeting are being exposed to every product Continental has to offer.
In addition to Commercial Vehicle Tire products and services, representatives of other key commercial truck component businesses of Continental AG showcased their solutions. Continental’s Passenger and Light Truck Tire group, key industry new and retread suppliers, and representatives from Continental’s Uvalde Proving Grounds in Texas also participated. The goal, Armstrong said, was to provide dealers a complete 360-degree view of Continental products and services.
“Continental, as one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide, has the potential to touch or develop almost any part of a commercial truck," he said. "Tires are just a part of our global family that also includes telematics, sensors, navigation systems, brakes and much more."
Williams concluded by saying Continental will be offering many things that its dealers and fleet customers have never seen before in 2012.
"From our investment in the ContiLifeCycle plant to the products and strategies seen here at this meeting, Continental is going to be the truck tire company to watch in 2012.”