Continental breaks ground on South Carolina plant
Continental Tire the Americas has broken ground on its new consumer tyre plant in Sumter County, South Carolina, reports Tire Review. Governor Nikki Haley and officials from CTA and Continental AG were present as ceremonies took place at the plant site. The plant will produce all lines and sizes of Continental and General brand passenger and light truck/SUV tyres for the North American market, and will primarily build replacement market tyres for at least the first three years of its existence, a Conti official said last October.
“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony for our new Sumter plant is a celebration of collaboration,” said Jochen Etzel, CTA CEO. “This project would not have been possible without the support of the state of South Carolina and Gov 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.”
Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental’s executive board and head of Continental’s global tyre 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 US market. We are experiencing an increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in the US and with the Sumter plant we can meet our customer’s needs and can grow our business. This investment is our very clear commitment to our customers.”
The new $500 million plant will occupy some one million square feet under roof on a 330-acre site on U.S. Highway 521 in the county. The first phase of production capacity at the plant is expected to be nearly five million passenger and light truck/SUV tires annually when the plant reaches full production levels in 2017. A second phase in the project will bring plant capacity to eight million units per year by 2021.
The groundbreaking ceremony also included an announcement by CTA that it made a $25,000 donation to the Sumter County School District. The donation will pay for 200-book classroom libraries for English classes in each of the seven middle schools in the district.
Plans for the plant were unveiled on 6 October, 2011, after months of speculation and investigation. Construction of the plant is expected to be finished by the end of 2013, and production is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.