ERJ staff report (TB)
Sumter, South Carolina (Oct. 6, 2011) - Continental Tire the Americas (CTA) will invest more than $500 million over 10 years to build a passenger and light truck tyre plant near Sumter to meet what it said is growing demand from both the retail and OE sectors for Continental- and General-brand tyres in the US and the Americas.
The greenfield plant-located at a site off of US Highway 521 in Sumter County-will create about 1,700 jobs, CTA said, including 80 positions related to an investment of more than $4 million to expand the tyre maker's Lancaster County, South Carolina, headquarters.
The first phase of production capacity at the Sumter factory is expected to be nearly 5 million passenger and light truck tyres by the time the plant reaches full production levels in 2017.
CTA said a second phase in the project is expected to raise the plant's capacity to 8 million units per year by 2021.
During a press conference this afternoon at the Opera House in Sumter announcing the new plant, Nikolai Setzer, a member of Continental's Executive Board and head of Continental's global tyre business, called the project a â€œpart of Continental's growth strategy worldwide and, especially in this case, for the US market. Increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tyres in the US, as well as the improved business results for CTA, has made this significant investment possible.â€
On behalf of the tyre maker's 160,000 employees worldwide, Setzer thanked South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as well as the (Charleston) Port Authority, the city of Sumter and Sumter County.
CTA said its business growth is â€œhighlighted by an annual growth rate of 20 percent in volume for the passenger and light truck tyre business in the Americas region in the past two years.â€
Also attending the news conference was South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt and Greg A. Thompson, chairman of the Sumter Development Board, along with Jochen Etzel, CEO of CTA.
â€œContinental is a world-class company, and it is truly exciting that they have chosen South Carolina for this new $500 million investment that will create nearly 1,700 new jobs. This announcement is a big win for our state,â€ Gov. Haley said.
â€œToday's announcement would not have been possible without the strong support of the state of South Carolina, Governor Haley and Secretary Hitt,â€ Etzel said. â€œSouth Carolina offered us the most compelling business climate that allows us to create these jobs with competitive pay and benefits for the people of this great state.â€
â€œOur customers-replacement market retailers and auto makers-have told us they need more Continental and General brand tyres,â€ he added. â€œToday's announcement is our commitment to helping them grow their business-as we grow ours. In 2011 alone, we have announced manufacturing investments of nearly $1 billion which are dedicated to increasing our production capacity in the Americas region.â€
Conti did not elaborate on financial, infrastructure and/or training support it may receive from state and/or local authorities.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)
Press release from Continental