Continental AG will be investing around $7 million into its A-Z Formen-und Maschinenbau GmbH machinery and mold-making unit to establish a foundry at the company’s Runding plant. This investment will enable the firm to produce molds with more detailed treads.
Continental had acquired A-Z for $46 million in January 2015. The company is believed to be the most technologically-skilled producer of molds that are required to manufacture tyres.
A-Z manufactures tyre molds, containers, tyre regroovers and other special machinery. The firm employs around 320 people at its Meclov facility in Czech Republic and Runding plant in Germany. The company has been in business since 1965 but now is a part of Continental’s subsidiary called ContiMachinery, which based in Hannover-Stocken, Germany.
According to Continental, this extra investment will help A-Z to fulfill more complex requirements of tyre molds and will improve the production effectiveness. The expansion is likely to create extra jobs for 20 people at the company’s Runding facility.
Nikolai Setzer, Executive Board member and leader of Conti’s tyre division, believes the acquisition of A-Z was a significant step to help them reach their long-term Vision 2025 strategy. He said, “The production of the most sophisticated molds with the highest technological quality is essential for us to able to continue to expand our technological expertise at this level, which is so incredibly important for the product characteristics of the tire.”
Setzer added, “By further expanding our capacity, we are making it possible to keep pace with the ever more exacting requirements on tires and their production as well as to fulfill our goal of manufacturing premium tires while driving research and development forward at the highest level.”
As was revealed earlier, the company is also investing a sum of around $280 million at its Hefei plant in China to boost OEM business in the country and to fill the demand for tyre replacement market.