RAYONG, Thailand — Continental A.G.'s car and light truck tire plant in Rayong has started production on schedule, two years after the company broke ground on the $265 million project.
The plant is designed to produce up to 4 million tires per year for Thailand and the Asia Pacific region by 2022, Continental said, with up to 900 employees at full production.
The facility — Conti's sixth tire plant in the Asia/Pacific region and 20th worldwide — "is an integral part of Continental Tire Division's 'Vision 2025' growth strategy," outgoing Tire Division Head Nikolai Setzer said during an inauguration ceremony at the plant.
The unit, he added, improves the balance of Continental's global manufacturing footprint and strengthens its production capacities for Asia Pacific.
In his remarks, Mr. Setzer cited the "excellent collaboration" with the Thai Government, local institutions and Conti's dedicated employees for completing the project on schedule.
"This is not just a milestone," he added. "With this investment we have built a foundation for our common success, writing together history in the automotive industry in Thailand."
According to the company, the Rayong plant features "best-in-class" energy efficiency standards, machines are equipped with technology for sustainable production processes, and highly automated logistics and handling processes for "an ergonomic work environment".
Rayong is the seventh greenfield plant Continental has opened since 1998.
The factory site — located just 35 miles from the deep-sea port of Laem Chabang, Thailand — covers 185 acres, which provides sufficient space for a potential expansion to up to 25 million tires per year, Conti said at the plant's ground-breaking in 2017.