AKRON — Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. is among a group of tire makers that said all of their tire plants in North America are continuing to operate normally, despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conti, however, said the situation "remains highly dynamic."
In addition, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc., Titan International Inc. and Nokian Tyres North America are maintaining normal operations through the global crisis.
Continental, which operates three tire plants in the U.S. and one in Mexico, said it is "gradually adapting production in our plants around the world in coordination with our customers and suppliers."
The Germany-based tire maker said it is communicating directly with customers to monitor the situation and manage supply with accurate information.
"We are also continuing to review our supply chains and are working closely with our suppliers to minimize any disruptions," Conti said in a statement.
"Currently, our ability to supply passenger, light truck and TBR (truck-bus radial) tires to our customers in North America is not impacted as a result of the situation."
Continental said it has "business continuity plans" that are initiated in the event of a pandemic, and they are "put into action on a case-by-case basis." The tire maker said it successfully implemented these plans during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Conti said its focus has been "on the health of our employees, customers and, in addition, on maintaining our supply chains."
Toyo, meanwhile said its distribution center in Ontario, Calif., as well as its U.S. plant in White, Ga., remain open and fully operational.
According to the tire maker, Toyo’s business operations fall within the exemption for federal essential infrastructure sectors as part of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Stay at Home” Order, issued March 19.
The distribution center receives tires from both U.S. and overseas manufacturing plants, then distributes those tires to dealers and warehouses across the country. Toyo said all distribution centers remain open.
Toyo's manufacturing facility in Malaysia, which is among the plants that supplies tires to the U.S. market, was shut down earlier this week under orders of the government there. It is the only Toyo plant that has been idled, according to the company.
Titan said its primary facilities across North America are open, and sales and customer service teams are available for customers "throughout this unprecedented event."
The company reports no infrastructure or supply chain issues that would impact fulfillment of orders.
The Quincy, Ill.-based tire maker, which has three plants in the U.S., said its COVID-19 response team meets several times a day to assess the situation "and execute plans that will continue to keep our employees safe and help our teams adjust accordingly without impacting production plans."
Titan is taking all necessary steps to ensure safety at its facilities, it said, including practicing social distancing and other preventative measures to reduce germs within its facilities, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and local governments.
The company said its leadership team meets regularly to respond to the pandemic as it evolves and "to adjust operations to maintain a high level of productivity, and support the health and safety of everyone involved."
Titan said it is "more thankful than ever" to be a U.S.-based manufacturer of tires and wheels.
"Titan is committed to the health and safety of our employees and supporting our dealers and their farmer customers." The tire maker said it will monitor the situation and update customers promptly of changes that could affect business.
Nokian said its plant in Dayton, Tenn., remains operational, but it is "taking significant precautions to protect our workers' health."
Those precautions include social distancing throughout its production processes; travel and visitor restrictions; and enhanced cleaning protocols.
The Finnish tire maker said it also instituted rotating lunches and modified employee entrances and exits to minimize the volume of people in shared spaces. It said it has established "strong screening protocols" for employees.
Trelleborg Wheel Systems USA also reported that its agricultural tire plant in Spartanburg, S.C., remains in operation.