MORELIA, MICHOCAN - Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, has begun shipments of its flat precure treads from a new central manufacturing plant in Morelia, Mexico this month, with plans to eventually distribute the products throughout the Americas.
For its ContiLifeCycle business, Continental's Commercial Vehicle Tires division officially opened its Morelia tread manufacturing facility as of April 27. The plant will fulfill the increasing demand for retreaded truck tires as Continental expands its lifecycle solution for trucking fleets.
The 3,100 square-meter plant is currently producing 7,500 rolls of flat precure treads monthly, which is enough to retread 22,500 truck tires. According to John Barnes, ContiLifeCycle manager, capacity is already increasing to approximately half a million retreads annually, and the plant will be expanded to meet production levels of more than one million flat retreads annually by 2015.
"With this plant implementation, Continental is assuring its customers a high quality precure tread, along with reduced costs and delivery time throughout the Americas," Barnes said. "The new ContiLifeCycle plant in Morelia is already supplying our six retread plants throughout Mexico and is poised to begin shipments to our locations in Ecuador. In the future, it will adequately supply our network of retread licensees throughout the Americas."
Under the ContiLifeCycle solution, Continental offers retreaded truck tires that maximize the lifetime of a truck tire and reduce the total cost of operating a trucking fleet, without sacrificing performance, comfort, fuel saving or quality. ContiLifeCycle products, Barnes said, are manufactured to have the same tread designs and engineering features as new Continental truck tires, for a match in performance.
The flat treads produced from the Morelia plant currently include ContiLifeCycle HDL Eco Plus (Heavy Drive Long Haul), HTL Eco Plus (Heavy Trailer Long Haul), HDR1 (Heavy Drive Regional) and D450 (a General brand drive tire). The plant also recently began producing the ContiLifeCycle retread for the HSR (Heavy Steer Regional) and HSC (Heavy Steer Construction) tires for Mexico in 18/32nds of tread depth, and will soon expand to a 23/32nds product.
"Over the next few weeks, we will continue to expand our inventory range and volumes produced from the Morelia ContiLifeCycle production facility. Our goal is to have a full portfolio of flat precure treads that match all of our new tire products, and have them available for any ContiLifeCycle retreader throughout the Americas," Barnes said.
In addition to reducing driving costs for fleets, the ContiLifeCycle solution also provides a reduction in energy, raw material consumption and environmental waste through the reuse of casings.
"The strategic decision to supply our ContiLifeCycle plants with our own flat precure treads from Morelia is the optimal situation to reduce costs and expand our distribution, so that we can provide the highest quality retread products to any location we serve," Barnes concluded.