Carlisle Tire & Wheel will phase out production of industrial tires at its headquarters plant in Carlisle over the next 12 to 15 months and move the capacity to a facility being acquired in Jackson, Tenn.
The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carlisle Companies Inc., plans to consolidate production from the 92-year-old Carlisle plant with that from its former Bowdon, Ga., facility at a 568,000-sq.-ft. plant in Jackson, according to Carlisle Tire President Fred Sutter.
Some production from a Carlisle plant in Buji, China, also will be transferred to Jackson, he said.
Carlisle employs 340 workers20 percent salaried, the rest hourlyat the Carlisle plant, down from a peak of between 600 and 800. Mr. Sutter said it has already asked some Carlisle employees to transfer to Jackson, and added that any employee who wants to transfer to that plant will be given a relocation allowance. Capacity at Carlisle is listed as 22,000 units a day.
Carlisle Companies has been deeply entrenched in the community of Carlisle, Pa., since this company began in 1917, deriving our name from the town, Mr. Sutter said in a prepared statement. Though one of the (Carlisle) facilities will be relocating, we continue to be committed to the Carlisle community and the excellent relationship we have had with them .
He explained that the Jackson facility affords Carlisle an ideal location, more centralized to our markets with excellent expansion opportunities. This strategic move will strengthen Carlisle's competitive advantage, improve our workflow and help us to maximize the benefit of the Carlisle Operating System, Carlisle's standardized manufacturing structure and system that allows us to improve our overall profitability and increase shareholder value.
Mr. Sutter said he expects the Jackson facility to go on stream in phases within the next 15 to 18 months, with employment in the mid-400s. The plant will specialize in agricultural and construction tires, but will also make some high-end commercial outdoor power equipment tires, he said.
Purchase of the Jackson site from Whirlpool Corp. is still pending, but Mr. Sutter said he did not think there was any chance the deal would not go through. He did not disclose the purchase price but called the investment significant.
Carlisle will keep tire research and development in Carlisle for the foreseeable future, Mr. Sutter said.
Carlisle began searching for a new plant late last year after the Bowdon factory was destroyed by fire. Production of industrial tires and tire/wheel assemblies was relocated to a temporary facility in Heflin, Ala.
As for the Buji capacity, Carlisle is phasing out pneumatic tire production at one of its two tire plants in Buji and transferring most of that capacity to its plant in Meizhou, China. Production of semi-pneumatic industrial tires will continue at the second Buji plant, Mr. Sutter said.
Carlisle also operates a recreational vehicle tire plant in Clinton, Tenn., and industrial wheel plants in Aiken, S.C., and Ontario, Calif.
Meanwhile, Carlisle has completed consolidating several small distribution centers in the Southeast and West Coast into larger facilities. Carlisle Tire now has six distribution centers in the U.S.in McDonough, Ga.; Grand Prairie, Texas; Edwardsville, Mo.; Milwaukee; Ontario, Calif.; and Carlisleand three in Canada, in Waterloo, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
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