KALUGA, Russia (Oct. 31, 2013) — Continental A.G. christened production Oct. 30 at its car and light truck tire factory in Kaluga, two years after breaking ground on the $320 million project.
Nikolai Setzer, head of Conti's Tire Division and a member of the Executive Board, called the new plant a "key pillar of Continental's long-term growth strategy in Russia.
"This is a major step toward our replacement clients and the fulfillment of our commitment to the leading car manufactures who have established plants in this region as well," he said during ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the plant.
The plant — described as the "most modern and technically advanced" in Conti's manufacturing footprint — will focus on the production of Continental-, Gislaved- and Matador-brand summer and winter tires, principally for the Russian market, Conti said, including studded tires.
Capacity is designed to be 4 million tires a year in the first phase at full production, with more than 800 employees.
Among vehicle makers that already are established in the Kaluga region are Volkswagen A.G., PSMA and Volvo Trucks along with suppliers such as Magna, Faurecia, Benteller, Gestamp and others, Conti said.
Jaron Wiedmaier, head of marketing and sales and general director of OOO Continental Tires RUS, noted that tires produced in Kaluga will be certified to ISO/TS 16949 standards, affording Conti a competitive advantage in the Russian marketplace.