First ContiLifeCycle dealership opens in U.S.

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King’s Tire in Bluefield, W.Va., on Friday, Sept. 23, reopened the doors of its 25,000-square-foot retread tire facility as the first U.S. licensee in the ContiLifeCycle dealer network. King’s Tire Service, a 40-year-old tire dealership servicing the I-77 and I-81 corridor in southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia, will be supplied with flat, precure ContiTrea products from Continental’s tread production facility in Morelia, Mexico.

The retreaded ContiLifeCycle tires sold at King’s Tire will be the first produced in the United States from flat precure treads featuring the same pattern designs, rubber compounding and tread technology that are included in new Continental brand truck tires. Owned by Sam King, the King’s Tire chain employs 150 tire personnel at eight locations and sells both commercial and passenger/light truck tires including the Continental and General brands. Its retread facility in Bluefield employs 16 personnel and is capable of producing up to 60,000 ContiTread truck tires annually.

Continental’s executive vice president for truck tires in the Americas, Paul Williams, says the King’s Tire decision to become a licensee represents an important milestone in Continental’s effort to sell premium retreaded truck tires that match its portfolio of new products across the United States. “King’s Tire is recognized by its customers as a premier provider of commercial truck tires, both new and retreads, along this important highway corridor,” Williams says. “Over 40 years they have built a fantastic reputation for both consumer and fleet tire sales and service. Today we are happy to welcome them as the first U.S. licensee in our ContiLifeCycle network.”

ContiLifeCycle, Continental’s umbrella for retreading operations, produces flat precure tread products at its facility in Morelia, Mexico, and supplies them to eight ContiLifeCycle dealers throughout Mexico. Two additional plants also are operating in the Andean region. Williams says Continental currently is in talks with selected additional truck tire dealers across the United States and eastern Canada to expand the ContiLifeCycle network, and expects to complete several additional licensing agreements before the end of 2011.