CHARLES CITY, Iowa (Jan. 25, 2011)—Mitas Tires North America Inc. has ordered 17 curing presses for farm tires, worth $10 million, for delivery to its Charles City plant in August and September as the firm gears up to start making radial farm tires by early 2012.
The order, with Czech machinery maker TS Plzen A.S., is part of a $43.8 million investment Mitas has budgeted to convert a former Winnebago assembly plant in Charles City to a radial farm tire plant.
Mitas Tire—the new name for CGS Tires US Inc., the Charlotte-based subsidiary of Czech Republic's CGS Tyres—estimates it will employ 159 workers at the plant by 2012 and 262 by 2016.
“Mitas is committed to Iowa,” said Vladimir Dusanek, Mitas' U.S. project director. “Mitas is committed to creating new jobs in Iowa and for Iowans. Virtually all employees of the Charles City plant will be local.”
Mitas plans to move its U.S. headquarters to Charles City from Charlotte, where it's been since 2004.
The company said it uses Plzen presses in its factories in Czech Republic. Plzen has been making industrial machinery for 150 years, according to Mitas.
Prague-based CGS Tyres, the tire business unit of CGS a.s. Holding, plans to develop the plant in three stages, depending on how quickly demand ramps up. The plant should open with annual capacity of about 4,100 metric tons and nearly triple by 2016 to 12,200 tons.
The company has budgeted about $22.7 million additionally through 2016 for the capacity expansion.