10/07/2011

www.gupta-verlag.de/rubber

Continental to build new tyre plant in Sumter, SC, USA

The first phase of production capacity at the plant in this project is expected to be nearly 5 million passenger and light truck tyres when the plant reaches full production levels in 2017. A second phase is expected to bring the plant's capacity to 8 million units per year by 2021. Altogether, those initial phases of the project involve an investment of more than USD 500 million and the creation of more than 1,600 jobs. Continental expects to begin construction of the plant in mid-2012 and complete the facility in 2013. The site is approximately 330 acres (134 ha) and the building is planned to be more than 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2). "This important announcement is part of Continental's growth strategy worldwide and, especially in this case, for the US market,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental's Executive Board and head of Continental's tyre division. "Increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tyres in the US, as well as the improved business results for CTA, has made this significant investment possible.” CTA's business growth is highlighted by an annual growth rate of 20 % in volume for the passenger and light truck tyre business in the Americas region in the past two years. "In 2011 alone, we have announced manufacturing investments of nearly USD 1 billion which are dedicated to increasing our production capacity in the Americas region. In addition to the greenfield announcement, we are also announcing an investment of more than USD 4 million in our Lancaster County, SC, headquarters to help meet the needs of our growing workforce,” said Dr. Jochen Etzel, CEO of CTA. CTA's headquarters in Lancaster County is home to more than 350 employees. The building opened in 2009. Due to the significant growth in the CTA business, Continental has been hiring additional employees at a steady pace. The investment will provide for a 16,000 square foot (1,500 m2) addition, bringing the total size of the building to 91,000 square feet (8,500 m2). The investment also includes the creation of 80 new jobs over the next four years. Total hiring will be 1,700 in the state of South Carolina, including the headquarters expansion. Final hiring should be completed by 2020. In March 2011, CTA already announced a USD 220 million investment to expand production capacity at its tyre plant located in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil. The investment will create 400 new jobs and double capacity in the plant. In May 2011, the company announced that it was investing USD 224 million and adding 444 new jobs in its Mt. Vernon, IL, USA, tyre plant. This investment will increase capacity by nearly 4 million tyres at Mt. Vernon.

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