CAMACARI, Brazil (April 6) — Continental A.G. has opened its new tire factory in Brazil and plans to turn out 9,000 passenger car tires a day by the end of 2006 at the site.
With capacity of 6 million passenger and 700,000 commercial vehicle units yearly, the facility will primarily supply the North American market. The project is part of Continental´s $305 million, four-year plan to increase global tire capacity at low-cost manufacturing plants.
The company hopes to produce 14,000 passenger tires a day at the plant, located in Camacari, in the first half of 2007, it said.
Production of commercial vehicle tires will get under way in July, with an estimated daily output of about 1,000 tires daily by year-end and as many as 1,700 units a day by the end of 2007.
It took 18 months to construct the 1.1 million-sq.-ft. factory, at a cost of about $260 million. It currently employs about 282, according to Conti, which expects the work force to grow to about 700 by year-end. That figure should climb to about 900 during 2007.
Close to 200 workers have gone through a training program at Conti locations outside Brazil, primarily in Portugal and Germany as well as the U.S., the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said Christian Meinecke, manager of the tire plant project.