CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 28, 2006) — Continental Tire North America Inc. is in preliminary talks with South Carolina local governments to discuss the possibility of moving its headquarters, but a spokesman said no decisions have been made.
Senior Counsel Rick Holcomb said the tire maker has had only “very preliminary discussions” with local officials about a possible relocation. The company, though, is looking into the possibility as one of several options to become profitable in North America. The discussions with local officials, Mr. Holcomb said, are focusing on various tax packages that may be available.
The areas under consideration are over the border in South Carolina, about five to 10 miles away from the firm's current headquarters in Charlotte. Mr. Holcomb said it's still too early to know when a decision will be made, but one is not expected in the immediate future.
“Right now our focus is really on getting an agreement with the Charlotte union,” Mr. Holcomb said, referring to talks with the United Steelworkers union Local 850. The tire maker has said it wants to trim $32 million in annual manufacturing costs at the Charlotte plant, which it claims is its highest-cost facility worldwide. The company has been exploring options that include reducing its work force there or wage cuts.