ERJ staff report (TB)
Sumter, South Carolina -- Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. (CTA) expects production at its $500 million car and light truck tire plant in Sumter to start by early 2014, now that site preparation is well under way, company executives said today at the plant's ceremonial ground breaking.
CTA expects to be able to start installing equipment by May 2013 in time to start production by early 2014, according to Craig Bartman, project manager. Production should hit 800,000 units that first year and hit 2 million in 2015, 3 million in 2016 and 5 million by 2017, Mr. Bartman said, by which time employment will hit 800.
Thereafter, the plant's second phase expansion would kick in, he said, to push capacity to 8 million units and 1,600 employees.
CTA CEO Jochen Etzel called the groundbreaking a â€œcelebration of collaborationâ€ among state and local authorities and his company, and said it â€œshow's Conti is dedicated to the U.S. marketâ€ and reflects â€œConti's commitment to our customers.â€
Nikolai Setzer, a member of Conti's executive board and head of Continental's global tire business, described this project as â€œan important part of Continental's growth strategy worldwide and, in this case, in particular for the U.S. market.â€
Mr. Setzer said Conti has experienced growth in North America of about 20 percent annually the past few years and the added output from this plant will help fulfill demand.
CTA also is expanding its headquarters in Lancaster County, S.C., and will add about 80 jobs there to support the firm's growth, the company said.
During the ceremony at the plant site, about eight miles south of Sumter, Mr. Etzel presented a $25,000 donation to Sumter School District to help pay for 200-book classroom libraries for English classes in each of the seven middle schools in the district.
From Tire Business