SUMTER, S.C., Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) celebrated a significant milestone in the construction process of its Greenfield site in Sumter, South Carolina today as the last steel beam of the basic structure was secured in the 1 million-square-foot production facility.
Event attendees, including South Carolina Secretary of Commerce, Bobby Hitt, were able to see first-hand how far construction has progressed at the 330-acre site since the groundbreaking ceremony just eleven months ago.
"Today's milestone celebration at Continental Tire puts us one step closer to filling up the middle of South Carolina with tires," said South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. "There is nothing more satisfying than to see that final steel beam bolted into place. It signifies the progress and commitment of a German tire powerhouse that has tipped the scales to position South Carolina as the number one tire producer in the world. We celebrate with Continental today. This is progress, and represents the job opportunity and economic vitality Continental is bringing to South Carolina."
Construction continues to remain on schedule and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. In addition, a number of milestones have been met in the recent months. One essential milestone includes the delivery and installation of the first pieces of machinery, which will soon contribute to the production of Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in Sumter.
"I would like to congratulate our general contractor, Walbridge-Mashburn, on the significant progress made on key areas of the plant including the mixing, tire building, stock preparation, curing, final finish and warehouse areas," said Craig Baartman, Sumter plant manager. "In addition, thank you for working hard to ensure we reached today's key construction milestone of the installation of the final beam in the facility structure. This is quite an accomplishment considering we just began construction at the site this past June."
By early 2014, the plant is expected to begin production and will eventually reach a production capacity of approximately five million units per year by 2017. A second phase is expected to bring the plant's full production capacity to approximately eight million units per year by 2021.
In addition to construction milestones, the CTA Sumter team continues to work toward meeting recruitment goals as nearly 300 positions are expected to be filled this year. The first employee, a civil engineer, was hired in April 2012 and to date, the team has recruited people to fill more than 50 positions.
"As construction continues, we will focus on recruiting, training and developing our team to have a workforce ready to build a quality product once the plant opens and production begins," said Baartman. "Some of the key positions we will recruit for this year include department managers and supervisors, functional support such as finance and IT, and production and technician positions."
CTA will continue its partnership with readySC and Central Carolina Technical College to assist with staffing and training interested candidates. Current job postings can be viewed at www.readySC.org/Conti.
Altogether, CTA will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs.
About Continental Corporation
With preliminary sales of €32.7 billion in 2012, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has more than 170,000 employees in 46 countries.
As one of the world's leading tire manufacturers, with more than 41,000 employees, the Tire Division achieved cumulative sales of more than €8.8 billion in 2011. Today, the division has 22 production and development locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments in Research and Development make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility.
Continental's Tire Division is an Official Sponsor of the German DFB Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil and the UEFA EURO 2016™ in France.
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