CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 8) — Continental Tire North America Inc. will indefinitely suspend tire production at its Charlotte plant more than two months ahead of the North American restructuring schedule it had in place for several weeks.
Citing escalating costs for energy and raw materials along with declining business conditions in the North American passenger and light truck sector, the company said it will halt production at the factory July 7, resulting in the layoff of 481 hourly and salaried employees. Prior to that, it will lay off about 172 workers May 12 and another 50 salaried employees June 30.
Conti originally planned on stopping tire production in Charlotte in Sept. 15.
"At this time, our Charlotte plant has the highest manufacturing costs of any Continental tire plant worldwide," said President and CEO Alan Hippe. "At this point, we must take immediate and decisive action to reduce our manufacturing costs and return CTNA to profitability."
Tire production at the Charlotte facility will be relocated to lower cost manufacturing sites, he said.