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Continental begins Sumter plant expansion

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Continental begins Sumter plant expansion

Continental Tire the Americas LLC has broken ground on the planned expansion of its Sumter, S.C. tire plant, which will increase the facility's tire production capacity from approximately 4 million units by 2016 to approximately 8 million units by 2021.

The company says this second phase of construction at Sumter will help meet the increasing demand for Continental and General brand tires from both its aftermarket business and original equipment orders from automotive manufacturers. The plant manufactures both passenger and light truck tires.

Continental says it will more than double its existing employment of 700 to 1,600 jobs.The company expects approximately 800 people to be at work inside the plant by the end of 2015.

“This announcement celebrates Continental’s trust in the Sumter facility to continue delivering quality products to our customers,” says Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas.

Altogether, Continental will invest more than $500 million into the Sumter plant and create about 1,600 new jobs. With the expansion, Continental has met the total projected investment of more than $500 million announced in October 2011.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for Continental’s continued commitment to its facility in Sumter and to our state,” says South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “Continental is a huge reason our state produces more tires than any other state in the country, and we’re excited to celebrate a bright future for the partnership between South Carolina and this great company.”

Continental continues to partner with readySC and local technical colleges to assist with staffing and training interested candidates and to develop tailored apprenticeship programs for mechatronics and production positions in the facility.

During the nine-month construction project, contractors will add about 720,000 square feet including a new production hall and expanded warehouses for raw materials and finished goods. This is in addition to 1 million square feet in the existing plant. The finished goods warehouse will be expanded to nearly one-and-a-half-times its original size.

Production at the Sumter plant began in October 2013.

Continental says it has invested more than $1.5 billion in the past five years for manufacturing, technology, facilities and product development in the U.S. The company says it also has recently expanded production capacity in Russia, China and Europe to better serve global demand on a long-term basis.

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