MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (May 12, 2011)—Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. plans to invest $224 million to expand its Mount Vernon tire plant and add 444 full-time jobs over the next three years.
The project, which brings Conti's total investment in the plant since 2006 to $486 million, will result in a significant increase in tire-producing capacity of nearly 4 million additional passenger and light truck tires annually, company officials said at a press conference in Mount Vernon.
About $171 million of the planned investment will be used for new machinery and equipment, they said, while the remaining $53 million will be directed at infrastructure upgrades.
The plant, which has added about 400 jobs since 2006, will see its total work force grow to nearly 3,000 in the next three years.
In addition to expansion of passenger and light truck tire capacity, Conti's commercial vehicle tire division also will increase capacity at Mount Vernon by 15 percent by December 2012, bringing annual capacity to 3.15 million tires per year. The first 5-percent increase has already been achieved, Conti said.
“Continental Tire the Americas is experiencing significant growth and demand for its tires throughout the region,” Matthias Schoenberg, CEO of Continental Tire, said at the press conference. “Adding production capacity to meet this demand was essential. And the Mount Vernon employees earned this investment as they continue to prove that they are competitive on a global level.”
Members of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration joined Conti officials during the news conference to highlight legislation signed May 6 by the governor, allowing Conti to claim the state's Economic Development for a Growing Economy credit against its withholding tax obligations. In order to receive the credit, the tire maker had to agree to create at least 350 jobs, retain at least 2,400 employees in Illinois and make a capital investment of at least $200 million.
In addition to its plans for the Mount Vernon plant, Continental A.G.'s supervisory board recently approved funding for a greenfield tire plant in the U.S.