Mount Vernon, Illinois — Continental Tire the Americas has added a second production shift for pre-cured tread rubber at its Mount Vernon tire plant in anticipation of a 300% jump in retread production this year by ContiLifeCycle customers in North America.
The decision to boost production follows a double-digit increase in demand for the company's products last year, said Tom Fanning, VP sales and marketing for commercial vehicle tires.
"We expect that growth to continue as the quality of ContiTread becomes better known in the market,” he added.
Conti did not disclose detailed numbers as to the scale of output.
Continental added tread rubber production to the Mount Vernon plant a year ago as part of a plan to cut delivery times to its ContiLifeCycle retread customers in the US.
Prior to that, Conti had supplied its licensed retread partners solely from a plant in Morelia, Mexico.
"We are achieving phenomenal outcomes by leveraging the team's 40 years of experience in truck tire manufacturing to improve the tread profiles and rubber mixing process," John Barnes, head of ContiLifeCycle retreading for the Americas, said.
Continental has been investing in technologically advanced production machinery, to improve the quality and consistency of its retread products and maximises safety for plant personnel.
"Our changeover process to move from producing one retread pattern to a different one is completely driven by programming," Barnes said.
This, he noted, shortens changeover time significantly.
ContiTread currently has under 60 ContiLifeCycle retread partners, 26 of which are operating in America.