SUMTER, S.C.With about 400 government officials, community leaders, tire dealers and company employees in attendance, Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. officially opened its $500 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Sumter Jan. 28.
The plant initially hired 390 employees, with plans to add about 200 this year as the factory ramps up production to 800,000 tires this year.
By 2017 the plant is expected to produce 5 million tires annually and by 2021 have capacity to produce 8 million units annually. The plant eventually will create 1,600 jobs, Conti said.
The opening of this plant is a very important milestone for our goal of growing our tire business in the United States. This beautiful new facility contains the highest level of machinery and technology to produce the best car and light truck tires possible, said Nikolai Setzer, head of Continental's global tire business and a member of Continental A.G.'s executive board.
Construction of the plant began in June 2012 on a 500-acre tract of land. Conti said tire production began three months ahead of schedule last October.
The plant is expected to produce both Continental and General tire lines mostly for the aftermarket.