Fort Mill, South Carolina – Continental Tire the Americas LLC has initiated sales of OTR tires in the Americas markets, marking the return of Conti to the sector for the first time in a decade.
The re-entry coincides with the expiration of a 10-year General-brand licensing agreement covering OTR and farm tires with Titan International Inc.
Conti is focusing initially in the Americas – covering the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the Andean markets – on the earthmover segment of its Commercial Specialty Tires business unit.
Conti launched its expanded Conti-Earth radial OTR portfolio at this year's MINExpo 2016 recently in Las Vegas, according to Federico Jimenez, manager, the Americas for the CST business unit.
The company said it is planning to roll out four sizes initially and expand the portfolio into 2017.
The addition of the OTR segment will increase the CST unit's scope as a supplier of materials-handling tires, including forklift, airport, port and container handling segments.
“From a tire dealer's perspective Continental is a great partner,” said Dan Rice, president of Piedmont Truck Tires, in a statement provided by Continental. Piedmont is described as a “longstanding” Continental truck tire seller founded in 1978, with nine locations in and around the Carolinas.
“Continental has trouble-free products at fair prices that allow the dealer to make money and still offer a great value to the customer. We're all very excited to see them bring OTR back into the mix.”
Continental earlier said it plans to re-launch a General-brand farm tire, and more recently announced plans to add capacity for radial agricultural tires at its Continental Mabor Industria de Pneus SA plant in Lousada, Portugal.
Jimenez – who has been with Conti in the industrial tire area since 2004 and was promoted to his current position in 2012 – called the earthmoving segment a “very robust market” and said Conti is “in a position to do truly great things for our customers across the Americas.”
Continental earlier this year disclosed it was gearing up to bring certain SKUs of its ContiEarth radial mining tire line to North America and introduce a range of General-brand farm tires.
The tire maker has designated factories in Malaysia, Romania and South Africa for OTR tire production and recently disclosed plans to invest $56 million at its plant Lousada, Portugal, for radial agricultural tires.
The company also recently announced the promotion of Enno Straten to managing director of the CST unit, succeeding Michael Maertens, who left the company.
Jimenez, who's based in Fort Mill, reports to Straten.
In addition, Conti earlier this year hired longtime tire industry veteran T. Shawn Rasey to be its global business development manager, earthmover, tasked with managing the international expansion of Conti's earthmover activities.