Kohala Coast, Hawaii -- Titan International Inc. said it will expand capacity for large off-the-road and agricultural tyres this year to around 15 000 units annually, to meet rising demand.
The announcement comes a week after workers at Titan's Bryan, Ohio, plant produced the company's first 63-inch prototype tyre, part of an expansion program Titan disclosed nine months ago.
Titan originally envisioned making about 6000 of the ultra-large tyres this year but now plans to devote enough resources at that factory to product up 15 000 larger-sized units, Chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. said at the Tire Industry Association OTR Tire Conference in Kohala Coast. They won't all be 63-inchers, but will include 49- and 57-inch sizes.
Taylor also disclosed Titan will add about 28 agricultural tyre curing presses, ranging in press sizes from 85 to 100 inches, at its tire facilities to increase capacity for larger size farm tyres.
The presses should be installed by August to ease shortages in the large agricultural tyre segment, Taylor said most of the presses would go in the Des Moines, Iowa, plant but indicated some of them could go into the Freeport, Illinois plant, where Titan has threatened to move some farm tyre capacity out of Freeport unless workers there agree to some workplace changes to make the plant more profitable.
Taylor didn't say what investment the company will make in the presses. The company has budgeted at least $30 million to fund the installation of capacity at Bryan for the large OTR tyres.
At the time, Taylor said production of 6000 large OTR tyres would generate up to $240 million in new sales.
From Rubber & Plastics News (A Crain publication)