Conti to Make Mount Vernon, Ill. Investment
Continental’s North American division is ready to pump US$60 million into its Illinois plant spread over the next three years. The money will go towards expanding production capacity on the facility’s passenger, light truck and commercial tyre operations. The German manufacturer will expand its workforce to the tune of 75 new jobs, increasing production by around two million tyres every year.
News sources suggest that the company will spend around two-thirds of the total figure on new machinery and tools for the fabrication of passenger and light truck tyres, while the remaining third will be spent on updating the factory’s commercial tyre building machines.
The move towards expanded operations in the US will see some of Conti’s European production shifted as a result of the persistently weak Dollar and strong Euro, and the heightened costs of shipping during the fuel price spurt. The latter also has a bearing in the US, following the trend towards smaller passenger cars as Americans’ love of SUVs and Pickups diminishes. Upping the production of passenger tyres to around 32,000 per day from the current capacity of 26,500 could well be motivated by the evolving tastes of the domestic auto market.