readySC readySC Continental Tire Corporate Site

Press

 

Continental rolls out new Sumter plant in ceremony

1/28/2014 The State

SUMTER — Continental Tire marked the official start of production Wednesday at its gleaming new plant in Sumter, rolling off its first new tires three months ahead of schedule.

The $500 million manufacturing facility, hailed by some as the largest economic development and job creation initiative in the area’s history, is projected to employ 1,600 workers and produce 8 million tires a year when it reaches full capacity in the next seven years.

Continental said those tires, which will be made at the 500-acre plant site just east of downtown Sumter, are needed to help meet the increasing passenger and light truck demand for Continental and General brand tires in both the replacement market and for automotive manufacturers.

German officials also alluded to a plan that could bring 10,000 additional jobs and more investment to the state.

Despite encroaching wintry weather, about 200 or more people showed up at the plant, where Continental officials from the Midlands and abroad joined Gov. Nikki Haley and state and local elected leaders to mark the occasion.

“Today’s celebration is recognition of the successful collaboration between business and government,” said Jochen Etzel, Continental Tire the Americas CEO, acknowledging efforts by Haley, the state Ports Authority, the state Commerce Department, Sumter city and county leaders and dozens of others. “Their strong support made this project possible.”

Craig Baartman, Sumter plant manager, noted construction began at the plant in June 2012, with the first machine installed there a year later. This month, the plant got the go-ahead to begin production, three months early. Today, the mammoth plant has about 400 people working there, with plans for 200 more by year’s end, Baartman said.

Nikolai Setzer, a Continental executive board member who also heads the company’s global business, said the Sumter plant is a key to the German tire maker’s plans of expanding its business base 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,” Setzer said.

Peter Ammon, the German ambassador to the United States, touted the South Carolina-Germany business partnership, noting the country is this state’s second-largest export recipient.

“There is more good news to come,” Ammon said. “There are negotiations underway for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and there are studies that show that South Carolina would profit from such an agreement, far more than any other U.S. state,” he said.

South Carolina’s exports to the European Union could double under the agreement, Ammon said, and add 10,000 new jobs in the Palmetto State.

Haley said her administration is studying the proposal.

“Today we are celebrating the opening of Continental Tire’s Sumter facility – a $500 million investment that is creating 1,600 jobs,” Haley said. “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.”

The plant will ramp up production in phases, the company said, producing 5 million tires in 2017 and 8 million tires per year by 2021.

The jobs are expected to pay wages 25 percent higher than the median income earned in Sumter and spur more than $670 million in related economic activity in the area, according to a statement released by the National Development Council, a national non-profit organization that financially-backed the Continental deal.

-back to top-


Continental Tire thanks Sumter for its support as production nears in 2014

Continental Tire thanks Sumter for its support as production nears in 2014

Continental Tire thanks Sumter for its support as production nears in 2014

On Feb. 19, 2013, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, left, and Continental Tire Sumter plant manager Craig Baartman signed the final beam installed in the Sumter plant.

8/29/2013 The Item

Dear Editor,

Since our facility broke ground in November of 2011, we have come a long way thanks to the support
of the Sumter community. Organizations like the Sumter Economic Development Board as well as local and state government officials helped bring us to Sumter, and we plan to be a longstanding partner with this community.

With the help of readySC, a division of the South Carolina Technical Colleges System, we have been able to find local job candidates through pre-hire screening, training and assessments. We are proud to say that currently more than ninety percent of our hourly employees are local to Sumter and surrounding counties. We are currently hiring industrial maintenance technicians and material handling positions. More production operator positions will be available later in the year. Qualified candidates can go to www.readysc.org/conti to apply.

While we continue to build up our facility and prepare our employees for production in early 2014, we have stayed involved in the Sumter community through local events like the Tuomey Foundation Five Miler and Sumter Iris Festival, as well as our donation to the Sumter School District, which will be expanded in an exciting way next year (more on that later). I even had the opportunity to deliver a commencement speech to the May 2013 graduates of Central Carolina Technical College, where we shared Continental's core values of Trust, Passion to Win, Freedom to Act and For One Another.

Just as you all have shown us a warm welcome and plenty of Southern hospitality, we plan to return the favor by sustainably producing the highest quality tires for years to come right here in Sumter, South Carolina!

Warmest Regards,

Craig Baartman

Plant Manager, Continental Tire Sumter

 

 

-back to top-


ReadySC helps recruit, train workers for tire makers

8/21/13 Columbia Regional Business Report

At Central Carolina Technical College, future employees of Continental Tire the Americas’ new Sumter plant are learning the ins and outs of inspecting tires.

The job prospects are assigned to a training bay that recreates what the factory’s inspection area, complete with racks, manual turntables and iPads.

The program is just part of the effort launched by Continental, the tech school and readySC – South Carolina’s workforce development program – to train many of the company’s future manufacturing employees.

So far, Fort Mill-based Continental has hired 150 production and maintenance employees who’ve gone through readySC training, said David Ray, manager of the Sumter plant’s human resources department.

That means 60% of Conti’s current workforce of 250 has received pre- and post-hire training through readySC, the company said.

“Continental’s partnership with readySC has been crucial to our success in hiring and training qualified, local job candidates who can meet the needs of our manufacturing process,” Ray said.

By the time Continental begins making tires early next year at the new 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility along U.S. 521 on the southeast side of Sumter, the company plans to have 400 workers on board.

Eventually, the first phase of the $500 million project is expected to reach its production capacity of 5 million tires per year by 2017. A second phase is projected to increase the capacity to 8 million units per year by 2021. State officials said plant will create 1,600 jobs.

As part of the training effort, Central Carolina Tech is in the final phase of planning for the renovation of a former Wal-Mart store in Sumter. It will be used as an industrial training center.

The first phase of the project requires the renovation of 54,000 square feet of the 104,000-square-foot building.

About half of the renovated space will be used to train applicants and employees at Continental’s plant, according to the tech college.

The other half of the renovated facility will house the tech college’s Basic & Advanced Mechatronics/Industrial Maintenance Credit programs. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary engineer training program.

The facility’s program space will include industrial training labs, classrooms, meeting rooms, computer labs, offices, a student library and student lounge.

Preconstruction services are expected to begin in September and work is scheduled to be completed in July 2014 with the building to be occupied the following month.

The renovation project is expected to cost between $7 million and $9 million.

As economic development announcements continue to flow from the S.C. Commerce Department, the workload at readySC grows.

For the 2012-13 fiscal year, readySC trained 4,678 workers and has nearly 90 projects underway.

Since 1961, when the program was launched, readySC has trained 275,952 workers who’ve landed jobs at 2,076 companies.

ReadySC has been particularly busy training future workers for the tire industry in South Carolina, which announced more than $2.2 billion of investments since the fall of 2011.

Besides Continental, readySC is providing recruiting and training assistance for Bridgestone and Michelin.

Bridgestone, which is investing $1.2 billion in its Aiken County operation, plans to add 850 workers to the payroll once expansion of the existing passenger tire plant is in full production mode.

The additional workers also will be needed to make giant off-road radial tires that will be produced in a new 1.5-million-square-foot facility nearing completion.

Michelin, which has its North America headquarters in Greenville, is adding 100 jobs in the expansion of a rubber-processing plant in Anderson County.

It also plans to add another 500 positions at a new earthmover tire facility that’s under construction in Anderson, and expansion of the company’s existing off-the-road tire plant in Lexington County.

Once the new and expanded manufacturing facilities are in full production, South Carolina will be No. 1 tire-making state in the country, blowing past Oklahoma.

At the Sumter training facility, Continental trainees learn about tire manufacturing and develop an appreciation for the company’s safety culture.

During a recent training session, the trainees use iPads that are connected via Bluetooth to a bar code scanner. Trainees enter barcodes into a specially designed software application. The iPads are connected via Bluetooth and deliver immediate feedback to the trainees on how they’re doing.

Steps trainees learned in inspecting tires included:

  • How to pick a tire from an incoming tire rack;
  • Placing it on a manual turntable;
  • Reading barcodes;
  • Inspecting for anomalies;
  • Recording the anomaly and either accept or reject the tire;
  • Placing the tire on an outgoing rack.

Trainees participated in two 50-minute practice sessions with instructors, and then a 20-minute test session at the end of training.

After the test was completed, performance data was exported and provided to the company.

The interactive exercise offers candidates a chance to apply what they learn and at the same time use the iPad technology.

Jobs that Continental has already filled include production operators and technicians, quality inspectors, and industrial maintenance technicians, Ray said.

Production operators, the company’s largest hiring group, must have a high school diploma or GED and at least one year of manufacturing experience, Ray said.

The second-largest hiring group, industrial maintenance technicians, must have:

  • An associate degree in electrical, mechanical or industrial maintenance or a high school diploma/GED with completion of a craft apprenticeship or equivalent experience;
  • A minimum of 1 year of industrial maintenance experience or equivalent (4 or more years is preferred);
  • A strong background in programmable logic controllers or PLCs, along with hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, and electrical experience in a manufacturing environment. (PLCs are digital computers used for automatic and electromechanical processes.)

The Continental training program also includes a readySC micro website that provides information about job openings and training available. The site has been integral to the success of the company’s recruiting, a readySC spokeswoman said.

Continental and readySC are working with nearby technical colleges “to address the need for continual local workforce development,” Ray said.

Workforce development programs would include developing apprenticeships for industrial maintenance technicians, Ray added.

ReadySC already has more than 560 registered apprenticeship programs in South Carolina with some 4,400 participants.

The apprenticeship program, along with recruiting and training efforts through readySC is helping Continental in developing a strong presence in the state’s labor market.

“More than 90% of our production and maintenance employees are local to Sumter and surrounding counties, and we are very proud of that,” Ray said.

-back to top-


Continental Tire Sumter Plant

5/28/13

Watch our progress live on Facebook!


Continental Tire installs final steel structure at Sumter plant

2/19/13 Columbia Regional Business Report

Continental Tire the Americas installed the last piece of the steel structure today for its 1 million-square-foot production facility located off U.S. 521 in Sumter, on a 330-acre site.

The facility is set to begin production of passenger and light truck tires by early 2014, Continental officials said.

Sumter Plant Manager Craig Baartman was joined at the milestone event by S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

“Today’s milestone celebration at Continental Tire puts us one step closer to filling up the middle of South Carolina with tires,” Hitt said. “There is nothing more satisfying than to see that final steel beam bolted into place. It signifies the progress and commitment of a German tire powerhouse that has tipped the scales to position South Carolina as the No. 1 tire producer in the world. We celebrate with Continental today. This is progress, and represents the job opportunity and economic vitality Continental is bringing to South Carolina.”

The construction milestone comes on the heels of news in late December that Continental’s contractors, a joint venture between Detroit-based Walbridge and Mashburn Construction of Columbia, remained ahead of schedule.

Construction began last June following the groundbreaking ceremony in March 2012. The first employee, a civil engineer, was hired in April 2012.

The facility is expected to be completed this year.

In 2013, Continental Tire plans to continue its partnership with readySC and Central Carolina Technical College to staff and train candidates. Continental Tire plans to recruit 300 workers this year, including department managers and supervisors, functional support such as finance and IT, and production and technician positions. Current job postings can be viewed online at www.readySC.org/Conti.

-back to top-


On the road to 8 million tires a year

1/9/13 The State

Continental Tire is on track to complete its new $500 million tire production plant in Sumter County by the end of the year and is hiring for 300 production positions there, the company said Tuesday.Continental Tire Sumter Plant

The expansive plant, being built on a 330-acre site a few miles southeast of the city of Sumter, was a coup for South Carolina when it was announced in fall 2011, helping put the state on pace to become the nation’s biggest tire producer.

Fifteen months later, the 1 million-square-foot production facility is about 30 percent complete and will begin producing its first tires early next year.

In phase one of the massive project, the plant will ramp up by 2017 to roll out about 4 million passenger car and light truck tires each year, the company said.

By 2021, the plant plans to produce 8 million tires a year and employ 1,600 people, the company said.

“The bottom line for us is that we got through 2012 successfully,” said Craig Baartman, Sumter plant manager, who conducted an hourlong media tour of the site Tuesday. “Every aspect of our plant is on time.

We’ve recruited the people and the resources we required.”

The plant, which broke ground in March 2012 and began construction in June, hired about 50 production staff and engineers and 18 maintenance personnel last year, Baartman said.

Hiring the required personnel was one of Continental’s biggest challenges last year, Baartman said, even though the plant was flooded with applications. All of the company’s current production plants are 50 or more years old, he said, and the company contended with a worldwide shortage of skilled laborers to get the plant underway.

“This is a long-term initiative, and really, there is a worldwide shortage of craftsmen,” said Baartman, who has worked, among other places, for years in China.

That shortage extends to skilled and experienced personnel in electrical, mechanical and electromechanical trades, Baartman said, including robotics, software and engineering disciplines, and persists in the United States, Germany and China.

As the company ramps up hiring this year, it will be looking for department managers and supervisors, according to plant engineering manager Tom Tompkins, as well as support staff in areas such as finance and IT, production and technician workers and engineers.

Desired qualifications for the production workers include a year of manufacturing experience, good work records and steady employment histories, Tompkins said.

Once hired, production personnel go into training for up to three months, Baartman said, during which time they go into Continental’s plants across the world to shadow-train.

Right now, the company has maintenance personnel for the Sumter plant in training in Continental plants in France, Germany, Portugal and Mexico, readying for duty here, officials said.

“We will do the same thing for our production folks,” said David Ray, human resources manager at the Sumter plant.

Last year, more than 800 people applied for the initial 22 maintenance positions the company advertised, Continental officials said.

The company began advertising for production workers last week, and roughly 1,200 to 1,500 people have applied so far, the officials said.

Job openings at the Sumter plant can be seen online at www.readySC.org/Conti.

Tire demand will drive decisions about additional plant construction, Baartman said.

For now, Continental said it was important to show South Carolina how far it has come.

“We are making progress,” Baartman said.

South Carolina invested $31 million in incentives to land the tire plant here, amid strong competition from other states, including North Carolina.

Sumter County and the city of Sumter also added free land and infrastructure development to accommodate the deal.

“Our plan for 2013 is to look to do the same (as 2012),” Baartman said, “but there will be, in my opinion, another level of intensity involved, just because of the scale of what needs to happen in order for us to produce tires by January 2014.”

-back to top-


Continental Tire ahead of schedule in Sumter

12/27/12 Columbia Regional Business Report

Continental Tire the Americas LLC remained ahead of schedule at the end of 2012, the company said in a year-end report on construction of a new tire manufacturing plant that began June 15 following the groundbreaking ceremony in March.

The first employee, a civil engineer, was hired in April 2012. Since then, Continental Tire has recruited for more than 50 positions at the Sumter plant.

“This year we focused on hiring key members of our management team and a variety of engineers,” said Craig Baartman, Sumter plant manager, whose position was announced in August. “We plan to have our complete management team on board in 2013.”

In addition, Continental Tire hired 18 multi-craft technician employees this year. Each will spend about 12 weeks training at a Continental tire plant in Illinois, Germany, Portugal, France or Mexico to prepare them for their job in Sumter.

In 2013, Continental Tire will continue its partnership with readySC and Central Carolina Technical College to assist with staffing and training interested candidates. Through this partnership, Continental Tire plans to recruit about 300 positions next year, including department managers and supervisors, functional support such as finance and information technology, and production and technician positions. Current job postings can be viewed at www.readySC.org/Conti.

The site, located off of U.S. Highway 521 in Sumter, sits on nearly 330 acres and will soon be a one million-square-foot production facility.

The general contractor for the site, Michigan and South Carolina-based Walbridge/Mashburn, has made significant progress on key areas of the plant including the mixing, tire building, stock preparation, curing, final finish and warehouse areas. The construction process for the plant is expected to be finished by the end of 2013, with production beginning in late 2013 or early 2014.

In the first phase, the plant will reach a production capacity of more than four 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, Continental Tire will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and will manufacture passenger and light truck tires to meet the increasing demand for Continental and General brand tires from both aftermarket business and automotive manufacturers. Nearly 1,600 jobs will be created as a result of this investment.

-back to top-


Jobs Now Available for Continental Tire Plant in Sumter, South Carolina

7/27/12

  • Applications now being accepted at r eadySC.org/conti
  • The first of approximately 1,600 new jobs for South Carolina are now posted online
  • Construction to be completed by end of 2013, start of production in early 2014

Sumter, South Carolina – Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) today announced that the first job postings for its new plant in Sumter are posted online and applications are being accepted. Altogether, CTA will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs when the plant is completed and production is in full swing.

Continental has partnered with r eadySC and Central Carolina Technical College  to assist with recruiting and training interested candidates. Current job postings can be viewed at r eadySC.org/conti.  Industrial Maintenance Technician and salaried positions, such as engineering and management positions, are currently posted on the site. Interested candidates must submit an application online. CTA will begin to accept online applications for Production Operator positions in late summer. 

“We are making good progress on the construction of our plant,” said Craig Baartman, Sumter Plant project manager.  “Now it’s time to fill some of the first of these well-paying jobs with excellent benefits.”

CTA is proud to provide, overall, 1,700 new jobs in South Carolina in the coming years. Approximately 80 of these new jobs are part of the expansion of CTA’s Headquarters located in Lancaster County.

In the first phase of production, which is between late 2013 and early 2014, Continental will hire approximately 300 production employees for the Sumter plant. The staffing process and manufacturing training for the first 150 employees will begin in the first quarter of 2013.

Key facts about the new Sumter plant:

  • The construction process for the plant is expected to be finished by the end of 2013.
  • Production is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.
  • In the initial phase stretching out until 2017, more than four million passenger and light truck tires will be produced annually.
  • In 2021, when the full production level will be reached, the annual production capacity will increase to up to eight million tires per year.
  • The new site comprises approximately 330 acres in total and a 1 million-square-foot production facility.

Continental Tire the Americas has continued to hire employees during the economic downturn. Since January 2008, CTA has created more than 2,500 new jobs in the Americas region. Some 625 of these new positions were created in the U.S., particularly in the Mount Vernon, Illinois plant. To keep up with business growth, CTA announced the hiring of more than 400 employees at the Mount Vernon plant in May 2011. Continental Corporation hired 30,000 new employees globally in 2010 and 2011.

With the Sumter investment, CTA will have invested more than $1 billion in manufacturing and product development in the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil since 2006. 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. Continental Corporation recently announced its intention to invest more than $2.5 million (€2 billion) globally in 2012.

For the latest information on hiring for the Continental Tire Sumter Plant, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ContinentalTireSumterPlant

-back to top-


Continental Tire Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Plant in Sumter, South Carolina

3/28/2012

  • Continues comprehensive growth strategy by investing more than $500 million
  • Approximately 1,600 new jobs for South Carolina
  • Construction to be completed by end of 2013, start of production in early 2014
  • Annual production capacity of eight million tires when full production level reached

Sumter, South Carolina – Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) today kicked off construction of its new tire plant in Sumter, South Carolina. The ceremony, attended by state and local governmental officials, marked the beginning of the construction process, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. By early 2014, the plant will manufacture passenger and light truck tires to 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 in this announced project 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 groundbreaking ceremony for our new Sumter plant is a celebration of collaboration,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas. “This project would not have been possible without the support of the state of South Carolina and Governor Nikki Haley. I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the Port Authority, Sumter County and the city of Sumter. We are very delighted to bring to Sumter approximately 1,600 new, well-paying jobs with excellent benefits. The outstanding commitment of our employees to quality and efficiency paved our way to this investment.”

CTA is proud to provide, overall, 1,700 new jobs in South Carolina in the coming years. Approximately 80 of these new jobs are part of the expansion of CTA’s Headquarters located in Lancaster County.

“It’s a great day in South Carolina when we break ground on a new facility for a world-class company like Continental.  This is progress and we continue to celebrate that Continental Tire has chosen South Carolina for this $500 million investment that, along with the expansion of their Lancaster County headquarters will create 1,700 new jobs in our state,” said Governor Haley.

Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of Continental’s global tire business, explained, “building this new facility in Sumter is an important part of Continental’s growth strategy worldwide and, in this case, in particular for the U.S. Market. We are experiencing an increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S. and with the Sumter plant we can meet our customer’s needs and can grow our business. This $500 million investment is our very clear commitment to our customers.”

In addition, Continental announced a $25,000 donation to Sumter School District.  The donation will pay for 200-book classroom libraries for English classes in each of the seven middle schools in the District.  Dr. Etzel presented the check to Sumter School District Superintendent, Mr. Randolph Bynum, Sr., and several middle school students who attended the event.

In the first phase of the production, which is between late 2013 and early 2014, Continental will hire approximately 300 production employees for the Sumter plant. The staffing process and manufacturing training for the first 150 employees will begin in the first quarter of 2013. Continental has partnered with Ready SC’s local Technical Colleges to assist with staffing and training interested candidates.

Key facts about the new Sumter plant:

  • The construction process for the plant is expected to be finished by the end of 2013.
  • Production is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.
  • In the initial phase stretching out until 2017, nearly five million passenger and light truck tires will be produced annually.
  • In 2021, when the full production level will be reached, the annual production capacity will increase to up to eight million tires per year.
  • The new site comprises approximately 330 acres and a 1 million-square-foot production facility.

Continental Tire the Americas has continued to hire employees during the economic downturn. Since January 2008, CTA has created more than 2,500 new jobs in the Americas region. Some 625 of these new positions were created in the U.S., particularly in the Mount Vernon, Illinois plant. To keep up with business growth, CTA announced the hiring of more than 400 employees at the Mount Vernon plant in May 2011. Continental Corporation hired 30,000 new employees globally in 2010 and 2011.

With the Sumter investment, CTA will have invested more than $1 billion in manufacturing and product development in the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil since 2006. 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. Continental Corporation recently announced its intention to invest more than $2.5 million (€2 billion) globally in 2012.

-back to top-


Continental Tire the Americas Plans to Invest more than $500 Million to Build New Plant in Sumter, South Carolina

11/14/2011

  • Approximately 1,700 new jobs for South Carolina
  • Increased demand for Continental tires in the United States and the Americas is the driving force behind these investments
  • Included in the new jobs are 80 positions related to an investment of more than $4 million to expand its Lancaster County, S.C. headquarters

Sumter, S.C. – Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (CTA) today announced that it will build an all-new tire plant in Sumter, S.C. to meet growing demand from both the retail level and automotive manufacturers. The first phase of production capacity at the plant in this project is expected to be nearly five million passenger and light truck tires when the plant reaches full production levels in 2017. A second phase in this announced project is expected to bring the plant’s capacity to eight million units per year by 2021. Altogether, those initial phases of the project involve an investment of more than $500 million and the creation of more than 1,600 jobs.

“This important announcement is part of Continental’s growth strategy worldwide and, especially in this case, for the U.S. market,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of Continental’s global tire business. “Increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S., as well as the improved business results for CTA, has made this significant investment possible. On behalf of the 160,000 employees of Continental worldwide, I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the Port Authority, the city of Sumter and Sumter County.”

CTA’s business growth is highlighted by an annual growth rate of 20 percent in volume for the passenger and light truck tire business in the Americas region in the past two years. 

The new manufacturing facility will be located at a Greenfield site off of U.S. Highway 521 in Sumter County. 

The announcement was made at a news conference today in Sumter at the Opera House. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt and Greg A. Thompson, Chairman of the Sumter Development Board, joined Setzer and Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, in sharing the good news. 

“Continental 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,” said Governor Haley. 

“Today’s announcement would not have been possible without the strong support of the state of South Carolina, Governor Haley and Secretary Hitt,” said Etzel. “South 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.” 

“Our customers – replacement market retailers and automakers – have told us they need more Continental and General brand tires,” Etzel said. “Today’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.” 

“In addition to the Greenfield announcement, we are also announcing an investment of more than $4 million in our Lancaster County, S.C. headquarters to help meet the needs of our growing workforce. We are looking forward to welcoming 1,700 more people to the Continental family starting very soon.” 

Lancaster County – $4 million investment, 80 jobs

CTA’s headquarters in Lancaster County is home to more than 350 employees. The building opened in 2009. Due to the significant growth in the CTA business, Continental has been hiring additional employees at a steady pace. The investment will provide for a 16,000 square foot addition, bringing the total size of the building to 91,000 square feet. The investment also includes the creation of 80 new jobs over the next four years. 

Details about CTA’s Greenfield Project

State, local and federal programs will provide financial assistance that is instrumental in bringing this project to the United States and to Sumter. The next step in moving the project forward will be entering into definitive agreements for these programs. 

Continental expects to begin construction of the plant in mid-2012 and complete the facility in 2013. Other important details about the project:

  • The plant project is expected to create more than 1,600 jobs.
  • The site is approximately 330 acres and the building is planned to be more than 1,000,000 square feet.
  • The facility will plan to produce eight million passenger and light truck tires annually by the completion of its initial phases.
  • The facility will produce tires for the replacement tire market and automakers.
  • Total hiring will be 1,700 in the state of South Carolina, including the headquarter expansion.
  • Final hiring should be completed by 2020. 

“Today’s announcement further strengthens South Carolina’s membership in the automotive club. This is also the fourth announcement this year involving the recruitment of 500 or more jobs,” said Hitt.

“Somehow the word ‘big’ just doesn’t seem big enough. In a matter of a few short years, this new facility will go from an idea to one of the largest economic drivers in our community. At more than $500 million, it’s the largest industrial investment the county has ever seen. And at 1,600 jobs, it will have an impact not only on Sumter County and its people, but on workers and families throughout the region,” said Greg A. Thompson, chairman of the Sumter Economic Development Board. “We welcome Continental Tire to Sumter County, and we couldn’t be more excited about both its future and our own.” 

Significant Investment and Expansion News for the Americas

In March 2011, CTA announced a $220 million investment to expand production capacity at its tire plant located in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil. The investment will create 400 new jobs and double capacity in the plant.

In May, 2011, the company announced that it was investing $224 million – and adding 444 new jobs – in its Mt. Vernon, Ill. tire plant. Another element of the CTA growth strategy, this investment will increase capacity by nearly four million tires at Mt. Vernon.

About Continental Corporation

With sales of €26 billion in 2010, 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 close to 160,000 employees in 45 countries.

-back to top-


Continental Plans to Invest more than $500 Million to Build a New Tire Plant in the USA

10/06/2011

  • Approximately 1,700 new jobs will be created in South Carolina
  • Increased demand for Continental tires in the United States and the Americas

Hanover/Sumter, October 6 2011. The international automotive supplier and tire producer Continental will build a new tire plant in Sumter, South Carolina (USA) to meet growing demand from both the retail level and automotive manufacturers. The first phase of production capacity at the plant in this project is expected to be nearly five million passenger and light truck tires when the plant reaches full production levels in 2017. A second phase in this announced project is expected to bring the plant’s capacity to eight million units per year by 2021. Altogether, those initial phases of the project involve an investment of more than $500 million and the creation of more than 1,600 jobs.

“This important announcement is part of Continental’s growth strategy worldwide and in this case especially for the Americas’ market,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of Continental’s tire division. “Increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in the USA, as well as the improved business results for Continental Tire the Americas (CTA), has made this significant investment possible. On behalf of Continental, I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the Port Authority, the city of Sumter and Sumter County.”

CTA’s business growth is highlighted by an annual growth rate of 20 percent in volume for the passenger and light truck tire business in the Americas region in the past two years. “Our customers, replacement market retailers and automakers, have told us they need more Continental and General brand tires”, Dr. Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, said. “Today’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.”

“Continental 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 1,700 new jobs. This announcement is a big win for our state,” said South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Continental expects to begin construction of the plant in mid-2012 and complete the facility in 2013. In addition to the Greenfield announcement, CTA also announced an investment of more than $4 million in its Lancaster County, S.C. headquarters to help meet the needs of a growing workforce. Today the headquarters is home to nearly 350 employees. Within the next four years 80 new jobs will be created.

In March 2011, Continental Tire the Americas already announced a $220 million investment to expand production capacity at its tire plant located in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil. The investment will create 400 new jobs and double capacity in the plant. In May, 2011, the company announced that it was investing $224 million, and adding 444 new jobs, in its Mt. Vernon, Ill. (USA) tire plant. Another element of the CTA growth strategy, this investment will increase capacity by nearly four million tires at Mt. Vernon.

-back to top-