ERJ staff report (TB)
Mount Vernon, Illinois -- Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. will invest $224 million to expand its Mount Vernon tyre plant and add 444 full-time jobs over the next three years, the company told media representatives during a May 12 press conference in Mount Vernon.
This project is in addition to a new plant approved somewhere in the United States, to relieve logistics and other issues; a new plant for Russia announced yesterday and other expansions in Brazil and India.
The project, which brings Conti's investment in the Illinois plant since 2006 to $486 million, will result in a â€œsignificant increase in tyre-producing capacityâ€ of nearly 4 million additional passenger and light truck tyres annually, the company said. About $171 million of the planned investment will be used for new machinery and equipment, while the remaining $53 million will be directed at infrastructure upgrades.
The plant, which already has added 400 jobs since 2006, also will see its workforce grow to nearly 3,000 in the next three years.
In addition to expanding passenger and light truck tyre capacity, Conti's commercial vehicle tyre division will increase capacity at Mount Vernon by 15 percent by December 2012, bringing annual capacity to 3.15 million tyres. The first 5-percent increase already has been achieved, Conti said.
â€œContinental Tire the Americas is experiencing significant growth and demand for its tyres throughout the region,â€ said Matthias Schoenberg, CEO of Continental Tire. â€œAdding production capacity to meet this demand was essential. And the Mount Vernon employees earned this investment as they continue to prove that they are competitive on a global level.â€
Members of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration joined Conti officials during the news conference to highlight legislation signed May 6 by the governor, allowing Conti to claim the state's Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) credit against its withholding tax obligations. In order to receive the credit, the tyre maker had to agree to create at least 350 jobs, retain at least 2,400 employees in Illinois and make a capital investment of at least $200 million.
â€œCreating jobs and encouraging investment in Illinois is strengthening our state's economic recovery,â€ Gov. Quinn said. â€œContinental's decision to invest in Mount Vernon will create jobs and make a lasting impact throughout this region, leading to further private-sector growth and economic development.â€
In addition to its plans for the Mount Vernon plant, Continental A.G.'s supervisory board recently approved funding for a greenfield tyre plant in North America.
â€œWhile we don't have any details to share at this time regarding the potential new plant in North America, we hope to have an announcement to make later this year,â€ Schoenberg said.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)