CHARLOTTE, N.C.-North Carolina Governor James Hunt, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Hubertus von Grunberg, chairman of Germany's Continental A.G., were among the dignitaries on hand for the dedication of Continental General Tire's new headquarters in Charlotte, March 18. CGT President Bernd Frangenberg, hosting festivities for the new four-story structure adjacent to the company's 30-acre tire manufacturing plant in the city, lauded Charlotte as a ``perfect match with the vision we hold for Continental General Tire.''
He said Charlotte, ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of the 10 best U.S. cities in which to live, will provide company employees with a ``quality place to live and work.''
Mr. Frangenberg said the city's vast array of community activities-from sports to the arts-adds to the quality of life there. And Charlotte's international airport and transportation industry, he said, ``enables us to remain competitive in a very competitive industry.''
He praised state and local government officials for ``building a strong and competitive business climate in North Carolina.''
Noting that CGT has been ``a good corporate citizen of North Carolina for almost three decades'' by virtue of its Charlotte passenger tire plant, Gov. Hunt assured the assemblage that ``we take our business relationships very seriously and are delighted this company has chosen to bring 350 additional jobs to our state.''
The company's newly con-structed, 126,000-sq.-ft. head-quarters, at 1800 Continental Blvd. on the city's south side, can accommodate about 400 employees and includes a central atrium space, corporate auditorium, library, conference facilities and a cafeteria.
In addition, a 70,000-sq.-ft. research and development labor-atory was constructed in an adjacent warehouse facility at the same time as the headquarters.
Gov. Hunt described the company's nearby tire plant, built in 1967 and employing 1,800 workers, as the ``best quality plant of its kind in this county'' and noted it was the first passenger tire facility in the U.S. to receive ISO 9001 certification.
``You don't get that kind of recognition unless you have the best people working for you, and you have management and employees all working together,'' he said.
Conti's Mr. von Grunberg said tires made by the company in the U.S. now are being exported for original equipment installation on German-made cars.
Conti's best tire plant worldwide is not in Germany, he told those assembled. It is in the U.S.
Charlotte's mayor, Mr. McCrory, who was originally from Columbus, Ohio, addressed the company's former Akron employees who were transferred to Charlotte during the relocation as ``my fellow Buckeyes.''
He offered the newcomers these promises:
First of all, that ``within a year, the children you'll be raising here will begin saying `yes ma'am' and `yes sir.' ''
Second, he assured them, Charlotte welcomes newcomers, and ``we encourage you to get involved in our community. . . .''
And third, he promised, ``you won't want to leave Charlotte and North Carolina. It's a wonderful place to live, raise your families and to work for this wonderful company.''