MORELIA, Mexico (May 26, 2011)—Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. has begun shipping flat precure treads from its tread rubber plant in Morelia to Conti LifeCycle customers in Mexico.
Conti bought the 35,700-sq.-ft. rubber processing plant last year and re-engineered it to its own specifications. The factory opened recently with a capacity of 7,500 rolls of flat precure treads monthly—enough to retread 22,500 truck tires—but Conti expects the plant to double this shortly and double again by 2015 to production equal to 1 million tires a year.
Conti has yet to announce any LifeCycle retread licensees in the U.S. or Canada, but the company has set up a LifeCycle retread plant in Phoenix as a demonstration site for the new retreading process and to service a key fleet account in the area.
Conti owns and operates the plant, but it's considered a one-off project to help jumpstart the firm's retread initiative, which it launched earlier this year, according to Clif Armstrong, director of marketing for CTA's commercial vehicles tires unit.