Conti begins Chinese run-flat production
Sales of locally-produced Continental run-flat tyres will reportedly begin in China before the end of this year. Quoting Jay Dhillon, general manager of Continental Tires China, the China Daily wrote on 28 November that annual output of these products will reach 340,000 units next year and 510,000 units in 2015. Hefei is the fourth Continental plant to begin run-flat production, after Aachen (Germany), Port Elizabeth (South Africa) and Mount Vernon (USA).
“The Hefei plant boasts a specialised production line for (run-flat) tyres and customised designing capability — the most advanced technology ever in tyre manufacturing,” Michael Egner, general manager of Continental Tires Hefei, told chinadaily.com.cn. Dhillon added that the first batch of run-flat tyres from Hefei are aimed at “economic and mid-end vehicles.” Sizes and patterns targeted at high-end vehicles will be introduced over the next few months, he said.
So far €319 million has been invested in the Hefei plant; this figure includes the €185 million outlay to built the plant’s first phase, which was completed in May 2011, and a further €134 that covers the March 2012 announced plant expansion and doubling of annual capacity to eight million tyres.
The Hefei-made tyres are expected to have a lower retail price than their imported equivalents, the China Daily notes.