HEFEI, China (May 18, 2011)—Continental A.G. has commissioned production at its $260 million Hefei car tire plant and disclosed plans to quadruple the size of the factory over time to 16 million units annually.
Conti held a ceremony this week to mark the start of production, two and half years after breaking ground on the project in Anhui Province. The commencement of production is about a year later than originally planned, owing to Conti's decision during the most recent global economic recession to slow the pace of construction.
The plant is designed with an annual capacity of 4 million tires in its first phase, Conti said, destined for both domestic sales and export to other Asian markets. The 753,000-sq.-ft. plant employs 400 at startup, but Conti said it expects to add 200 more jobs throughout 2011.
Conti said the factory's targeted annual production volume is 16 million tires, or 60 percent more than officials have stated in the past. The company said “further investments for the expansion of the existing production capacity are planned in the near future” but released no figures. The additional investments will create more jobs as production grow, Conti said.