OTROKOVICE, Czech Republic—Czech tire maker Mitas A.S. has begun commercial-scale production of radial farm and off-road tires at its newest plant, in Otrokovice, 15 months after work started on the facility.
The $55 million investment includes construction, transfer and modernization of the production technology.
The new plant, located in Otrokovice's TOMA industrial park, was built to accommodate off-road tire production previously housed in a section of Continental A.G.'s tire plant in the same city. Mitas had been leasing the space since 2004, when it bought Conti's agricultural tire business.
"We managed to build this new plant, which is the most advanced of all Mitas production facilities, in under 12 months," said Josef Křemecek, director of Mitas plants in Otrokovice and Zlín, Czech Republic.
"Mitas is committed to using the best available technology, and this makes the new plant one of the most advanced in the world in manufacturing agricultural radial rear tires," he added.
Mitas A.S. has begun production at its radial farm and off-road tire plant in Otrokovice.
Mitas' parent announced plans for the plant in Sept. 2010, but construction didn't start until Aug. 7, 2012. Construction on the production hall was complete by the end of May of this year, and on July 2, the first tire was produced there.
In the past year, Mitas moved all of its tire production and work force to the new plant. Capacity is listed as 42,000 metric tons per year.
Mitas said it was able to maintain deliveries to customers during the transition period by optimizing capacity at its other factories, including its plant in Charles City, Iowa.
Mitas recently announced it is developing, under license, a lower pressure farm tire that offers a 53 percent larger footprint and more than double the lateral stability than standard farm tires.
The design, dubbed PneuTrac, is in partnership with Galileo Wheel Ltd., an Israeli technology company that has been working on the design for the past several years.
Mitas, which sells under the Mitas, Cultor and Continental brands, is ranked 42nd among the world's tire makers, with 2012 tire-related sales of $572 million.