New Conti plant will be 10 years in the making

Oct. 6, 2011

The city of Sumter, S.C., is rolling out the red carpet for Continental Tire the Americas LLC, following the company's announcement that it will build a greenfield consumer tire plant in Sumter.

South Carolina state, local and federal programs will provide financial assistance to Continental for the $500 million project. Prior to today's press conference (see photo of Continental executives in Sumter), a local tire dealer already had posted "Welcome to Sumter" on his outdoor sign.

“Somehow the word ‘big’ just doesn’t seem big enough," said Greg Thompson, chairman of the Sumter Economic Development Board. "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."

Here are the specific details.

* Continental expects to begin construction of the plant in mid-2012 and complete the facility in 2013.

* The first phase of production will be completed in 2017; the plant will have a capacity of 5 million passenger and light truck tires.

* The facility will plan to produce eight million passenger and light truck tires annually by the completion of its second phase in 10 years.

* 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 million square feet.

* 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).

(For related information, see "New Continental tire plant in Sumter, S.C., will cost one-half billion dollars.")