SUMTER, S.C. (March 30, 2012) — Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C.'s long-range plans for the Sumter tire plant now under construction include a near doubling of the plant's size and capacity by 2021 and possibly the addition of truck tire capacity as well, company executives said at the plant's groundbreaking this week.
Conti has budgeted $500 million to build the first phase of the project, starting with a 1 million-sq.-ft. plant on a 330-acre plot of land several miles south of Sumter in south-central South Carolina and ramp it up to 5 million units by 2017.
Longer term, though, the company plans to add more manufacturing space and boost annual capacity to 8 million car and light truck tires by 2021, according to Craig Baartman, project manager.
The site has sufficient space, he said during a conversation with Tire Business, to accommodate another doubling of capacity to 16 million units and the addition of manufacturing space for truck tires. There are no concrete plans for either of these at the moment, he added, but said the space is laid out to accommodate such additions.
The $500 million budgeted will cover the plant up through 2017, Conti said.
CTA expects to be able to start installing equipment by May 2013 in time to start production by early 2014, Mr. Bartman told those attending the groundbreaking. Production should hit 800,000 units that first year, 2 million in 2015, 3 million in 2016 and 5 million by 2017, Mr. Bartman said, by which time employment will hit 800.
Therafter, the plant's second-phase expansion would kick in, he said, to push capacity to 8 million units and 1,600 employees.