TIMISOARA, Romania (Oct. 20) — Continental A.G. has started production of passenger tires at its new plant in Timisoara, 19 months after groundbreaking at the site in western Romania. Conti has invested nearly $60 million in the plant so far, with $35 million projected through year-end 2002, when daily capacity should exceed 22,000 units, Continental said. Continental Automotive Products S.R.L., as the venture is known, will employ 1,000 at full capacity. The plant is based predominantly on Conti´s Modular Manufacturing Process, which involves completing production of tires initiated elsewhere, by adding the belt/tread package to green tire casings manufactured in other Conti factories and shipped to Timisoara. The Oct. 20 plant ribbon-cutting was attended by Romanian Prime Minister Mugur Isarescu.