GENEVA, Switzerland (March 4, 2010) — Continental A.G. expects to bring its tire plant in Hefei City, China, on stream later this year, nearly a year later than originally planned, according to Nikolai Setzer, head of Conti's passenger/light truck tire business.
Speaking to Tire Business' sister publication European Rubber Journal at the Geneva Motor Show, Mr. Setzer said building work on the factory was restarted toward year-end after a delay of about a year and much of the factory shell is now complete.
Conti broke ground on the $253 million, 753,000-sq.-ft. passenger and light truck tire factory in October 2008 with a targeted completion date of early 2010.
The factory was initially due to be operational by 2010 with an initial annual capacity of 4 million tires, rising to more than 10 million in the long term, the company said at the time. The plant will employ more than 1,100 at full capacity.
Conti said at the time that the plant would focus on Continental brand premium tires, starting with 15-inch sizes and expanding to 17- and 18-inch sizes.