New US plant to meet growing demand for Continental truck and bus tyres
Continental has confirmed its intention to erect a new commercial vehicle tyre factory in the USA, and while no start of construction date has been announced the company says it expects to break ground in the next few months “in cadence with market demands.” The tyre maker anticipates that in the long-term an investment of approximately US$1.4 billion will go into the project.
The facility will be built in Mississippi – Continental Tire the Americas, LLC has reached an agreement with the state government to purchase a greenfield site for the plant in Hinds County, 20 miles from state capital Jackson.
“The project in Hinds County, Mississippi is part of our global growth strategy. In a first step, the new plant is especially addressing our commitment to grow our commercial vehicle tyre business in North America,” said Nikolai Setzer, head of Continental’s Tire business. “The announcement of a new tyre plant in the US is the second in just five years for Continental. We thank the state of Mississippi, Hinds County and the City of Clinton and Governor Bryant for his leadership in bringing us to the Jackson area, and we look forward to a strong business relationship for years to come.”
Continental Tire the Americas reports that its business growth has “consistently exceeded the market” over the last five years and the company continues to see customer demand for its new and retreaded truck and bus tyres growing beyond existing capacity. “The team has worked hard over the past several years to add value to our commercial fleet customers by expanding our service offerings in order to lower the overall operating costs,” said Paul Williams, executive vice-president, Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires, the Americas.
“As a result, we continue to enjoy solid growth in our business and a demand for more commercial vehicle tyres,” Williams added. “As we plan our growth, we have found this site provides significant advantages for a future tyre plant in terms of its large skilled workforce, as well as its deal location and infrastructure. The state of Mississippi has developed an outstanding business climate and this site met all of our needs for projected growth in the near as well as in the longer term.”
Development work at the almost 1,000 acre site will begin this year, and Continental expects plant construction to begin in 2018. Should the project go forward according to schedule, the production of commercial vehicle will start by end of 2019. The company notes that the size and location of the site makes it “well suited for setting up a gradually growing tyre plant,” and Continental expects the Hinds County facility to employ 2,500 people when the plant reaches full capacity in the next decade.