HANNOVER, Germany-Continental A.G. is planning to phase out tire production at plants in Austria and Sweden next year, eliminating 1,731 jobs and more than 6 million units of annual production capacity. Conti blamed the closings on the factories' high operating costs and reduced demand for standard passenger tires.
Conti will cease tire production at its Semperit Reifenwerke car and truck tire factory in Traiskirchen, Austria, but will keep rubber compounding/calendering and sales operations at the site, salvaging 400 jobs. Conti blamed the closing in part on reduced U.S. truck tire demand. The plant exported 400,000 truck tires to the U.S. this year, after shipping double that many in 2000.
In Sweden, Conti is negotiating with trade unions at its Continental Gislaved Dack A.B. plant in Gislaved about closing the plant by July.
The tire maker estimates an overcapacity of 5 million tires in 2002 in view of the downturn in the market and keener competition.