CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Continental General Tire Inc., which stopped making front tractor tires two years ago, now is phasing out the remainder of its U.S. farm tire production, company officials confirm. The company will be leaving the farm tire market and dealers have been made aware of that fact, President Bernd Frangenberg said.
Last September, officials acknowledged CGT, which makes only bias-ply tires for such applications, did not plan to convert that production over to radials due to high development and retooling costs.
Officials explained that the company's bias rear farm tire is 30 to 40 pounds heavier than competitors' products and therefore too expensive to produce in today's price-sensitive marketplace-particularly in light of rising raw material costs.
CGT has been turning out biasply rear tractor tires at its Mayfield, Ky., plant, which is predominantly a passenger and light truck tire facility.
In order to compete profitably in that market segment, Mr. Frangenberg explained, the company would have to shell out for expensive new molds. And that, he said, ``doesn't make sense'' in view of the limited volume at stake.
``Our product is excellent. But it's just too expensive. It would mean a major investment to stay in for what is, after all, a relatively small niche market,'' he said.
The company has investigated the possibility of outsourcing such tires, he said, adding that there's still a ``slim chance'' that might happen. ``But at this stage I would say we are exiting the market,'' Mr. Frangenberg added.