TRAISKIRCHEN, Austria (Dec. 6, 2001)—Continental A.G. will cease tire production of next year at its Semperit car and truck tire factory in Traiskirchen, eliminating 957 jobs. Rubber compounding/calendering and sales operations will continue to operate at the site, with 300 and 100 jobs, respectively, Conti said.
The plant, in eastern Austria south of Vienna, had been on notice for a few years that its costs were too high; efforts to cut costs by the plant's workforce proved insufficient to justify keeping it operating, Continental said in a prepared statement. Prior to the decision to close, Conti already had notified workers there its output would be halved next year.
Conti blamed the closing in part on the slump in demand for truck tires in the U.S.; the plant exported 400,000 truck tires to the U.S. this year, after shipping double than many in 2000. The problem was compounded by a weakening European truck tire market, Conti said.
Additionally, the plant produced primarily 14- and 15-inch passenger tires, demand for which has slumped, Conti said.
The plant was built in 1897 by a predecessor of Austria's Semperit Gummiwerke. Continental acquired Semperit in 1985.