HANOVER, Germany-Continental Tire North America suffered a $21.5 million operating loss in the third quarter on the combined effects of falling demand, sustained price pressures, increased materials and energy costs and operating inefficiencies, parent company Continental A.G. said.
Sales fell in the quarter to $409 million, contributing to a 4.9-percent drop in nine-month sales, to $1.17 billion. The nine-month operating loss was $68.9 million, vs. earnings of approximately $24 million a year earlier.
Earlier, the company said it would suspend production in North America for one week during November in order to reduce original equipment-oriented production in the quarter by roughly 500,000 units.
Manfred Wennemer, Continental A.G.'s chairman, said the subsidiary faced great challenges in view of the reduction in demand in the North American automotive industry, which would also affect Europe.
``In the future, we will focus to an even greater extent on profitability, results and cash flow than we have done to date and consider the reduction of our financial debt as one of our most urgent priorities,'' Mr. Wennemer said.