MOUNT VERNON, Ill. — Continental Tire the Americas has added a second production shift for pre-cured tread rubber at its Mount Vernon tire plant in anticipation of a 300% jump in retread production this year by ContiLifeCycle customers in North America.
The decision to boost production follows a double-digit percent increase in demand for the company's products last year, Tom Fanning, vice president of sales and marketing for commercial vehicle tires, said.
"We expect that growth to continue as the quality of ContiTread becomes better known in the market and as we continue to add new partners to our ContiLifeCycle retreader network."
Conti did not disclose detailed numbers as to the scale of output.
Continental added tread rubber production to the Mount Vernon plant a year ago as part of a plant to cut delivery times to its ContiLifeCycle retread customers in the U.S. Prior to that, Conti had supplied its licensed retread partners solely from a plant in Morelia, Mexico.
"We are achieving phenomenal outcomes by leveraging the team's 40 years of experience in truck tire manufacturing to improve the tread profiles and rubber mixing process," John Barnes, head of ContiLifeCycle retreading for the Americas, said.
By investing in technologically advanced production machinery, Continental ensures the quality and consistency of its retread products and maximizes safety for plant personnel.
"Our changeover process to move from producing one retread pattern to producing a different one is completely driven by programming," Mr. Barnes said. "This shortens our changeover time significantly. It also requires a different skill set in the operators."
At last report, there were 26 ContiLifeCycle retread plants operating in North America, including seven operated by its BestDrive L.L.C. commercial tires subsidiary.