Continental Cuts Production at Charlotte Passenger Plant
(Akron/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America (CTNA) announced today that it is making a significant cut in tyre production at its Charlotte, North Carolina passenger and light truck/SUV tyre plant, a move that will result in some 200-300 layoffs. From 1 July, Charlotte production will be cut from approximately 25,000 tyres per day down to some 17,500. CTNA said the cutback was due to “a substantial increase in inventory levels for certain passenger tyre products and high process costs at the Charlotte plant.”
CTNA offered no date or information when full production might resume at the plant. “Unfortunately, this was our only option, as Charlotte is the highest cost plant for Continental,” said Rick Ledsinger, CTNA’s vice president of human resources. “Although this reduction will impact many of our Charlotte employees, it is critical that Continental continues to make the changes necessary to be competitive in the US tyre market. We will do our utmost to assist our employees at this difficult time.”
CTNA said it would provide layoff benefits to hourly employees in accordance with its collective bargaining agreement with the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International (USW), and salaried employees will be provided with layoff benefits in accordance with applicable company policies.
The company added that it would continue to produce tyres in North America. However, CTNA only has one other passenger tyre factory in North America. Opened in 1973, the company’s Mount Vernon, Illinois, plant has a capacity of some 25,000 tyres per day. CTNA’s only other fully owned plant is the Bryan, Ohio, OTR tyre plant, which the company is trying to sell. CTNA is a partner, with Yokohama and Toyo, in the GTY Tire Co. joint venture truck plant in Mount Vernon.