By Liz White, ERJ staff
Hannover, Germany-Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) said 29 June that it will suspend tyre production indefinitely at its troubled Mayfield, Kentucky plant, starting 31 Dec 2004. Conti has previously described Mayfield as its highest-cost US tyr e-making site. Its strategy to turn the US business back into profit in the US demands more use of low-cost manufacturing locations, an approach it has adopted with success in Europe.
CTNA said it has no plans to close the Mayfield facility, and will continue rubber mixing and warehousing operations there.
Some 715 hourly-paid people and 112 salaried employees are affected: CTNA said it will work with appropriate agencies help these employees.
â€œThis was not an easy decision, as we have been weighing our options at Mayfield for some time. We must remain cost-competitive in the market and our industry,â€ said Martien de Louw, president and CEO for CTNA and Continental AG board member responsible for passenger and light truck tyres. â€œUnfortunately this was our only option, as Mayfield remains the highest cost plant for Continental. Both salary and hourly employees will be affected and we will do our utmost to assist them at this difficult time.â€
CTNA added that it will continue to make tyres in its other three North American facilities to serve its customers in the region.