Mitas opens a new tire factory in Iowa
03.05.2012 / 23:52
On April 26, the Czech company Mitas opened its first factory in the United States in Charles City, Iowa. It is the largest Czech investment in the US so far amounting to approximately 52 million USD. The full capacity of the plant will be 13 500 metric tons of tires a year.
MITAS a.s. is one of Europe’s leading producers of agricultural tires. Mitas manufactures and sells tires under three brand names: the company’s own Mitas and Cultor, and Continental under licence. In addition, Mitas produces and distributes a wide range of Mitas-branded industrial and motorcycle tires. Mitas is a member of ČGS a.s. Holding and operates three production plants in the Czech Republic, one in Serbia and one in the USA, and maintains a global sales and distribution network.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Charles City Mayor James Erb, Ambassador of the Czech Republic Petr Gandalovic and Mitas representatives Tomas Nemec and Oldrich Slemr cut the ribbon to start the serial production. "Mitas is now an American-made brand,” said Tomas Nemec, the chairman of Mitas’ parent company, CGS. “Mitas invites all farmers to buy tires made in the tractor town.”
The newly opened plant makes all common agricultural tire sizes and will eventually produce sizes of up to 54” diameter and 1,200 mm width. The last curing press will be installed by mid-2013. In April, the factory employed 76 full-time employees recruited locally, and by 2013 the plant will employ 237 local residents.
The Charles City facility received its ISO 9001 in March, and the National Safety Council has awarded it Gold-level Recognition for Incident Rate Excellence during 2011. The project has received support from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Charles City Development Corporation, Floyd County and North Iowa Community College.
“The American farmer will benefit from increased competition,” Nemec added as Mitas has become the third radial agricultural tire producer in the United States. “Good tractor tires are worth their weight in gold,” said Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in his video message to Mitas. “A quality product is exactly what we need,” he added.