Continental has begun construction on its new High Performance Technology Center (HPTC – left) at the tire plant in Korbach, Germany, with assembly of the first machines – including a tandem mixer, tread extruder, fabric cutting machines and a heat press – beginning a few days ago.
Continental aims to produce around 350,000 high-performance passenger car tires per year starting mid-2016. Its 60 new workstations will be used to create test tires and try out new production techniques. Continental is investing over €45m (US$50.4m) in the new plant as part of its Vision 2025 investment program.
With a planned start date of July 2016, the new plant will not only manufacture high-performance tires but will also develop and optimize production processes in Korbach, which will then be introduced in other Continental tire plants.
Lothar Salokat, Korbach plant manager, said, “With the HPTC we are not only launching a new manufacturing plant, but also fundamentally expanding our R&D department from Hanover to the tire plant in Korbach. The new HPTC has become an important building block for the future of our tire plant in Korbach.”
Continental has also broken ground on the expansion of its facility in Sumter, South Carolina, USA. The US$500m investment is set to increase tire production capacity from approximately four million units planned for 2016 to approximately eight million units by 2021. The number of jobs at the facility is expected to more than double from the current 700 to 1,600. Continental named Kajima Building & Design Group as general contractor of the projected nine-month construction project.
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.
“This announcement celebrates Continental’s trust in the Sumter facility to continue delivering quality products to our customers,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, at the groundbreaking. “We extend our thanks for the sustained support from Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the Ports Authority, Sumter County and the city of Sumter.”
September 10, 2015