The expansion project at the Continental tire plant in Mount Vernon, Ill., is ahead of schedule. Announced in May, the $224 million expansion will be completed in three years.
However, plant capacity already has been increased.
“Our team worked diligently to ensure the success of this expansion project and it was not only on time, but actually ahead of schedule," says Benny Harmse, vice president of manufacturing for Continental Tire the Americas LLC.
"Their diligence resulted in the early production of the first tires from this expansion. This is helping us with the important task of meeting our customers’ demands for Continental and General brand tires.”
In just five and one-half months, the 438,000-square-foot expansion was ready and the first tires were produced last week. Along with the investment, the company announced a total of 444 new full-time jobs to be filled within the next three years. A total of 50 new employees have been hired since the May announcement.
When the expansion project reaches the planned full capacity in 2014, an additional volume of around 3.7 million tires will be produced, bringing the total production capacity of the Mount Vernon plant to more than 13.4 million passenger and light truck tires and 3.15 million truck tires per year. The investment is part of Continental’s comprehensive growth strategy for its tire operations worldwide.
In recognition of the Mount. Vernon plant’s contribution to the southern Illinois regional economic growth, Continental was recognized by the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission as the “Business of the Year” on Oct. 20, 2011.
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