First Phase of Conti’s China PCR Plant Completed
Some 21 months after breaking ground, Continental has completed the first project phase at its Hefei, China passenger car tyre facility. This milestone was celebrated at a ceremony on July 4, held following the installation of plant machinery. The 70,000 square metre plant has been established through an investment of more than 185 million euros, and Continental states this investment represents part of the company’s Asia growth and expansion strategy.
“We are looking forward to finally produce and sell passenger car tyres from local production in China,” said Nikolai Setzer, head of Conti’s Passenger Car and Light Truck Tire division. “The positive project evolution makes us confident that together with our highly motivated Hefei team also the ramp up of the production capacity to four million tyres per year will be according to our plan. This plan anticipates the first delivery of locally produced Continental tyres to the Chinese market in early 2011. The four million tyres per annum announced by Mr. Setzer represent a first stage capacity; in the long run this will be further extended to cope with growing market volume in China and Asia.
Continental restarted work on the plant in September 2009 after suspending it during the recession. The company notes that while it typically takes 15 months for a new tyre factory to reach and complete the machine installation stage, at Hefei this was completed in only ten months. Conti describes the plant as being equipped with the “most modern tyre production technology and apply leading environmental-friendly processes and technique to manufacture premium medium- and high-end passenger car tyres to satisfy the Chinese domestic and overseas demand.” Recruitment and training of new workers for the factory has already begun.