TRAISKIRCHEN, Austria (Dec. 6)—Continental A.G. will cease production of tires next year at its Semperit car and truck tire factory in Traiskirchen next year, eliminating 957 jobs. Rubber compounding/calendering and sales operations will continue to operate at the site, with 300 and 100 jobs, respectively. The plant, in eastern Austria south of Vienna, had been on notice for a few years that its costs were too high. Efforts to cut costs by the plant's work force proved insufficient to justify keeping it operating, Continental said in a prepared statement. Prior to the decision to close, Conti already had notified workers there the facility's output would be halved next year. Conti blamed the closing in part on the slump in demand for truck tires in the U.S.; the plant exported 400,000 truck tires to the U.S. this year, after shipping double that many in 2000. The problem was compounded by a weakening European truck tire market, the firm said.