Farm tire manufacturers ramp up production

Dec. 4, 2008

In response to expected increases in demand next year, several farm tire manufacturers are boosting their production capacities.

Firestone Agricultural Tire Division has added some production in large capacity radial tires, following additions made in 2007.

Groupe Michelin is investing in its three farm tire plants in France, Poland and Spain in order to ramp up production. (Michelin stopped making farm tires in the United States six years ago.)

Titan International Inc. is adding "considerable" press capacity at both its Des Moines, Iowa, and Freeport, Ill., farm tire plants. The company also has been producing farm tires at its plant in Bryan, Ohio.

"We're adding a good 30% to 40% capacity in radials," says Jeff Vasichek, Titan's vice president of sales and marketing.

Strong export demand, large increases in corn-based ethanol production, high commodity prices and other factors will push U.S. net farm income to a projected record $90 million in 2008.

"Farm net income is the leading factor that's going to (impact) equipment and parts purchases" by farmers, says Ken Allen, vice president of Firestone Agricultural Tire.

For an in-depth look at the domestic farm tire market, including 2008 shipment numbers and market share by brand, see the December issue of Modern Tire Dealer, available soon.