Expanded Conti US plant enters operation
Although Continental Tire the Americas only announced in May plans to expand its Mt. Vernon facility in the US state of Illinois, five and a half months later the first tyres from the project were produced, ahead of the anticipated start date. “I am very proud of our great team here in Mt. Vernon,” said vice president of manufacturing Benny Harmse. “Our team worked diligently to ensure the success of this expansion project and it was not only on time, but actually ahead of schedule. Their diligence resulted in the early production of the first tyres from this expansion. This is helping us with the important task of meeting our customers’ demands for Continental and General brand tyres.”
The US$224 million investment required for this expansion was announced on May 12, 2011 and construction began immediately. Within five and one-half months, the 438,000 square foot (40,700 square metre) expansion was ready and the first tyres produced. Along with the investment, the company announced a total of 444 new full-time jobs to be filled within the next three years; a total of 50 new employees have been hired since the May announcement. When the expansion project reaches planned full capacity in 2014 an additional volume of around 3.7million tyres will be produced, bringing the total production capacity of the Mt. Vernon plant to more than 13.4 million passenger and light truck tyres and 3.15 million commercial vehicle tyres per year.