MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (June 29) — Continental Tire North America Inc. has budgeted $78 million more toward the ongoing modernization and expansion of its Mount Vernon car and truck tire plant.
The investment will go toward state-of-the-art tire building and storage equipment for commercial vehicle tires and more than 150,000 square feet of expanded building space to house the new equipment.
The project will put the 33-year-old Mount Vernon plant in a position to make 90 percent of Conti´s U.S. market demand, according to Tom Roydhouse, executive vice president of commercial vehicle tires.
Construction of the space and installation of the equipment will begin immediately, Conti said, and should be complete by year-end 2008. The expansion will equip Mount Vernon to manufacture the majority of U.S. commercial tire sizes/fitments and free up global capacity at plants in Europe and Asia.
This latest investment is in addition to the $70 million to $100 million investment disclosed last year in both the passenger and commercial divisions at Mount Vernon from 2006-09 as the facility continues to become globally cost competitive.
More than $84 million of that investment has already been funded, Conti said.
Matthias Schonberg, Continental Tire North America CEO, said the firm has made "significant investments in Mount Vernon over the past 18 months because we continue to believe this facility has a very bright future."
Conti did not comment on the possible effect on employment at the non-union plant, where employment now stands at nearly 1,200.