DECATUR, Ill. (Sept. 1, 2011) — Farm tire specialist Mitas Tires North America Inc. will phase out the use of Continental-brand farm tires in North America and instead focus its efforts on the Mitas AC brand, company executives said recently.
“It's a win-win for the farmer and U.S. manufacturing with Mitas AC,” according to Neil Rayson, president of Mitas' U.S. sales subsidiary, who disclosed the firm's branding decision at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur. he emphasized that Mitas' U.S. factory, under construction in Charles City, Iowa, will make only Mitas-branded tires.
“Mitas acts globally and thinks locally,” Mr. Rayson said. “U.S.-made farm tires create American jobs and enable us to get our cutting-edge tire technology into the hands of our customers much more quickly.”
In order to support a smooth transition to the Mitas AC brand from Continental, Mitas said it will improve availability, increase regular supply and presence at local farm shows and offer improved warranties, upgraded sales literature and signage at sales outlets.
“The dealers who now distribute Continental agricultural tires will become the core of our premium Mitas AC distributor network,” Mr. Rayson said.
Mitas plans to introduce additional premium farm tires for the U.S. market, such as Mitas Super Flexion Tires, Mr. Rayson said.
Mitas' parent company, CGS Group of Czech Republic, has had the rights to sell Conti-brand farm tires since 2004, when CGS bought Conti's agricultural tire business unit and transplanted the unit's manufacturing base to its plants in Czech Republic.
With 2010 tire-specific sales of $411 million, CGS/Mitas was the 46th largest tire maker worldwide last year, according to Tire Business' annual Global Tire Report.
Mitas said its sales in North America increased “several fold” in the first half of 2011 to nearly $27 million.
Tire Business' Global Tire Report appears in the Aug. 29 print edition of the publication; several stories from that report also have been posted on tirebusiness.com.