Hanover, Germany – Continental AG has returned to the agricultural tire business with the launch of two tire models, the German tire maker announced 5 Sept.
Continental back in the farm tire business
The standard Tractor70 and Tractor85 tires from Continental Commercial Specialty Tires (CST) are said to offer “extreme robustness and durability” due to new bead and polyamide fibre technologies.
The development of the new agricultural tires is based on years of experience in the speciality tire business as well as intensive market analysis, according to Ralf Krieger, CST head of development and industrialisation of agricultural tires.
"As the first-borns in our premium radial tire range, Tractor70 and Tractor85 give an insight into our future portfolio which will comprise 100 sizes in many profile variations for different applications,” said Krieger.
The tires have a flexible carcass, based on a patent-pending technology, to enhance durability on asphalt, field and stone, noted the Conti release.
The technology, called N.flex, features a “specifically-designed nylon” and its cords are twisted thousands of times. This is said to make the carcass tear-resistant, flexible and elastic, with “rotation [that] ensures that the material is able return to its original shape.”
In June 2016, Conti announced plans to invest €49.9 million in its agricultural tires business, increasing capacity at its tire plant in Lousado, Portugal, and preparing the way for the launch of own-brand products into this market.
Conti said it intended to bring a complete tire portfolio for agricultural tractors and harvesting machines to the market. The range, it stated, would include radial and cross-ply tires in 150 sizes.
The plans marked the end of the trademark license agreement with licensee Mitas, which was acquired by Trelleborg in May 2016.
Production of Continental branded radial agricultural tires in Lousado was planned for start-up in 2017 though the company also produces cross-ply tires for the agricultural sector in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Besides the investment in the manufacturing plant in Lousado, Conti invested €2.5 million in a new R&D centre at the Portuguese site.