QUINCY, Ill. (April 20) — Titan International Inc. is considering expanding its manufacturing capabilities to include 57- and 63-inch radial off-the-road tires, the global supply of which for mining applications is restricted.
Titan´s board of directors has approved enlisting Merrill Lynch to advise Titan on the financial feasibility of the move. Merrill Lynch is expected to complete its assessment before a Titan board meeting scheduled for May 17.
"Titan has the engineering and technical expertise to offer these additional sizes," said Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. "We can help solve the tire shortage in these large sizes, but first we need to obtain commitments from mining companies. Tires are often mistaken as a commodity, but they are engineered products."
Titan said it has researched production costs to make up to 6,000 units of 63-inch tires yearly, and could be in production in 2008, but this will require an investment in larger building equipment and molds.
Titan said it is in the process of increasing its selection of radial tires made at its Bryan, Ohio, facility through size 51-inch using both the old and new 15-degree tire technology.