CHARLES CITY, Iowa—Mitas Tires North America Inc. is adding three more curing presses by the end of the year for three new farm tire sizes—in 26-, 38- and 50-inch rim diameters—at its year-old Charles City factory.
The U.S. subsidiary of Czech Republic-based Mitas A.S. also disclosed plans for making tires up to 54 inches in rim diameter and 1,200 mm width.
Mitas said it expects the facility to reach annual production capacity of 13,500 metric tons by the end of the year. The new presses and associated equipment are part of Mitas' three-year, $53 million investment at the site, announced in mid-2010.
Employment at the converted recreational-vehicle assembly plant should grow from 188 to 237 by the close of 2013, Mitas said.
The three new sizes are a combine tire, at 750/65R26 SFT, and two tractor sizes, 380/95R38 AC 85 and 480/95R50 AC 85. The new sizes are in response to demand for larger tires with lower aspect ratios from farm equipment manufacturers and the replacement tire market, according to Neil Rayson, senior vice president for sales and marketing in North America.