Mitas Tire North America officially opened its new radial agricultural tire plant in Charles City, Iowa, yesterday.
Among the dignitaries attending the grand opening event were Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Charles City Mayor James Erb and Mitas representatives Tomas Nemec and Oldrich Slemr, who combined to cut the ribbon and start production of farm tires.
“Mitas is now an American-made brand,” said Nemec, chairman of Mitas’ parent company, CGS. “Mitas invites all farmers to buy tires made in the tractor town.”
The new plant will produce all common agricultural tire sizes and eventually produce sizes of up to 54 inches in wheel diameter and 1,200 millimeter width. The last curing press will be installed by mid-2013.
As of the ribbon cutting, the plant employed 76 full-time employees recruited locally, and by 2013 the plant will employ 237 local residents.
The project to convert a closed Winnebago plant over to Mitas’ ag tire production received support from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Charles City Development Corp., Floyd County and North Iowa Community College.
Mitas also announced it would accelerate its $52 million investment to achieve the full production capacity of 13,500 metric tons of tires a year by 2013, which is three years earlier than originally anticipated.
“The American farmer will benefit from increased competition,” Nemec, said, noting that Mitas is now the third radial agricultural tire producer in the U.S.