SUMTER, S.C., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) today kicked off construction of its new tire plant in Sumter, South Carolina. The ceremony, attended by state and local governmental officials, marked the beginning of the construction process, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. By early 2014, the plant will manufacture passenger and light truck tires to meet the increasing demand for Continental and General brand tires from both aftermarket business and automotive manufacturers. The first phase of the plant will reach a production capacity of approximately five million units per year in 2017. A second phase in this announced project is expected to bring the plant's full production capacity to approximately eight million units per year by 2021. Altogether, CTA will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs.
"Today's groundbreaking ceremony for our new Sumter plant is a celebration of collaboration," said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas. "This project would not have been possible without the support of the state of South Carolina and Governor Nikki Haley. I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the Port Authority, Sumter County and the city of Sumter. We are very delighted to bring to Sumter approximately 1,600 new, well-paying jobs with excellent benefits. The outstanding commitment of our employees to quality and efficiency paved our way to this investment."
CTA is proud to provide, overall, 1,700 new jobs in South Carolina in the coming years. Approximately 80 of these new jobs are part of the expansion of CTA's Headquarters located in Lancaster County.
"It's a great day in South Carolina when we break ground on a new facility for a world-class company like Continental. This is progress and we continue to celebrate that Continental Tire has chosen South Carolina for this $500 million investment that, along with the expansion of their Lancaster County headquarters will create 1,700 new jobs in our state," said Governor Haley.
Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental's Executive Board and head of Continental's global tire business, explained, "building this new facility in Sumter is an important part of Continental's growth strategy worldwide and, in this case, in particular for the U.S. Market. We are experiencing an increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S. and with the Sumter plant we can meet our customer's needs and can grow our business. This $500 million investment is our very clear commitment to our customers."
In addition, Continental announced a $25,000 donation to Sumter School District. The donation will pay for 200-book classroom libraries for English classes in each of the seven middle schools in the District. Dr. Etzel presented the check to Sumter School District Superintendent, Mr. Randolph Bynum, Sr., and several middle school students who attended the event.
In the first phase of the production, which is between late 2013 and early 2014, Continental will hire approximately 300 production employees for the Sumter plant. The staffing process and manufacturing training for the first 150 employees will begin in the first quarter of 2013. Continental has partnered with Ready SC's local Technical Colleges to assist with staffing and training interested candidates.
Key facts about the new Sumter plant:
- The construction process for the plant is expected to be finished by the end of 2013.
- Production is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.
- In the initial phase stretching out until 2017, nearly five million passenger and light truck tires will be produced annually.
- In 2021, when the full production level will be reached, the annual production capacity will increase to up to eight million tires per year.
- The new site comprises approximately 330 acres and a 1 million-square-foot production facility.
Continental Tire the Americas has continued to hire employees during the economic downturn. Since January 2008, CTA has created more than 2,500 new jobs in the Americas region. Some 625 of these new positions were created in the U.S., particularly in the Mount Vernon, Illinois plant. To keep up with business growth, CTA announced the hiring of more than 400 employees at the Mount Vernon plant in May 2011. Continental Corporation hired 30,000 new employees globally in 2010 and 2011.
With the Sumter investment, CTA will have invested more than $1 billion in manufacturing and product development in the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil since 2006. Aside from the U.S., Continental is currently expanding production capacity also in Russia, China and Europe to better serve global demand on a long-term basis. Continental Corporation recently announced its intention to invest more than $2.5 million (EUR 2 billion) globally in 2012.
About Continental Corporation
With sales of EUR 30.5 billion in 2011, 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 approximately 164,000 employees in 46 countries.
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