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New Continental Tire Plant in Sumter, South Carolina Now Officially Open

- Grand Opening event featured Governor Nikki Haley, Germany's Ambassador to the United States and several hundred guests

SUMTER, S.C., Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) today celebrated the grand opening of its all-new plant in Sumter, South Carolina. The ceremony marked the completion of the construction process and the beginning of tire manufacturing. The tires produced at the Sumter plant will help meet the increasing demand for Continental and General brand tires from both aftermarket business and automotive manufacturers.

The first phase of the plant will reach a production capacity of approximately five million units per year in 2017. A second phase is expected to bring the plant's full production capacity to approximately eight million units per year by 2021. Altogether, CTA will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs.

"Today's celebration is recognition of the successful collaboration between business and government," said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas. "I would like to personally thank Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the Ports Authority, Sumter County and the city of Sumter. Their strong support made this project a reality." 

"Today we are celebrating the opening of Continental Tire's Sumter facility – a $500 million investment that is creating 1,600 jobs. Continental's success in South Carolina isn't an accident, it's what happens when you combine a great product with a strong business environment and skilled workforce," said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. "This is another example proving that Team South Carolina can deliver products of the highest standards and meet the demands of companies around the world."

Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental's Executive Board and head of Continental's global tire business, explained, "The opening of this plant is a very important milestone for our goal of growing our tire business in the United States. This beautiful new facility contains the highest level of machinery and technology to produce the best car and light truck tires possible. And, most importantly, we began to produce tires three months ahead of schedule. The Sumter plant is an important part of Continental's growth strategy worldwide. This $500 million investment is our very clear commitment to providing our customers with the tires they need to grow their business," Setzer added.

To date, approximately 390 employees have been hired in Sumter. It is expected that the plant will have a total employment level of 570 at the end of 2014. Total employment is expected to reach 1,600. Continental has partnered with readySC's local Technical Colleges to assist with staffing and training interested candidates.

Key facts about the new Sumter plant:

  • The plant is built on a 500 acre tract of land.
  • Construction started in June 2012.
  • 60,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured.
  • 30,000 tons of steel went into the plant structure.
  • Machine installation began in March 2013.
  • Production was scheduled to begin in January 2014, but the plant received corporate approval to begin three months ahead of schedule in October 2013.
  • More than $100 million were awarded to South Carolina vendors in the construction of this plant.

With the Sumter investment, CTA will have invested more than $1.85 billion in manufacturing, technology, facilities and product development in the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil since 2005. Aside from the U.S., Continental is currently expanding production capacity also in Russia, China and Europe to better serve global demand on a long-term basis.

With provisional sales of around 33.3 billion in 2013, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has more than 177,000 employees in 46 countries.

As one of the world's leading tire manufacturers, with more than 42,000 employees, the Tire division achieved sales of 9.7 billion in 2012. Today, the division has 22 production and development locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments in R&D make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility.

Continental's Tire Division is an Official Sponsor of the German DFB Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the UEFA EURO 2016in France.

SOURCE Continental Tire the Americas, LLC

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