SUMTER, S.C. (Oct. 13, 2013) — Workers at Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. car and light truck plant in Sumter have begun turning out pre-production tires at the 1 million sq.-ft. facility, putting the $500 million project slightly ahead of schedule.
The tires being produced now are being shipped to Conti's research and development facilities in Germany for testing and evaluation, CTA officials said recently.
An aerial shot of the plant released by CTA shows the physical structure completely under roof. The company said it expects to be granted a "certificate of occupancy" by late October, which would allow workers to occupy the office space.
CTA is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for late January. The plant is projected to have 5 million units of annual capacity in the first phase, although production will ramp up gradually, starting at about 800,000 units in 2014 and 2 million in 2015.
Conti broke ground on the project in March 2012, when it disclosed long-term plans for the plant to be nearly double in size and capacity as it will be in phase one, along with the possible addition of truck tire capacity.
With 330 acres of land at the site, Conti has sufficient space to accommodate another doubling of capacity to 16 million units and the addition of manufacturing space for truck tires, the firm said at the ground-breaking.
Conti said recently it expects to have more than 300 employees on payroll by year-end and expand to nearly 500 by year-end 2014. CTA is working together with readySC and Central Carolina Technical College to recruit and train employees.www.readySC.org/Conti.