HANOVER, Germany (Oct. 17, 2001)—Continental Tire North America plans to halt tire production for up to one week during November in response to what its parent company, Continental A.G., called a ikely “nosedive” in North American car and light truck production during the fourth quarter.
The move, which could affect one or more plants, will cut the U.S. tire maker's original equipment tire output by nearly 15 percent or roughly 500,000 tires, Conti said. “We're still determining how many plants will be involved and how many days, up to a week,” a spokeswoman for Conti in the U.S. said.
“The attacks in New York and Washington have had an unsettling effect on vehicle buyers in the U.S.,” Conti said. The company said it expects retail sales to consumers will stabilize after having slumped in the days immediately following the Sept. 11 events in the U.S.
Continental Teves North America, Conti's brake and chassis systems business based in Auburn Hills, Mich., also is reducing costs as a result of the expected slow down in U.S. vehicle production, Conti said. The systems unit anticipates a 20-percent reduction in production in its OE business and has taken aggressive cost-cutting steps, which have included a realignment of the hourly workforce and time off without pay.
Conti said the production slowdowns may continue into the first quarter of 2002. After that, start-ups of new vehicles by American manufacturers using Conti's electronic brake and chassis systems are expected to compensate for the anticipated fourth–quarter reductions.