HANOVER—Continental A.G. plans to expand capacity for car and light truck tires at its tire plant in Puchov, Slovak Republic, by roughly 45 percent over the coming few years, making the former Matador A.S. factory the largest Continental tire plant in Europe.
The expansion will boost capacity for car and light truck tires to 16 million units a year, according to a memorandum of understanding signed April 11 in Hanover by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Conti Board Member Nikolai Setzer.
Conti, citing market development and European demand, declined to specify the timing and investment scale for the project. The company did, however, note that it has budgeted $1.3 billion for greenfield plants in China, Russia and the U.S., and it is spending about $450 million annually to debottleneck and expand existing plants.
Reports from Slovakia indicated the expansion would create up to 600 jobs at the plant in western Slovakia, where employment stands at 5,000.
Conti produces most of its brands—Continental, General, Gislaved, Semperit, Uniroyal, Viking, Barum, Matador and Mabor—at the plant, which it acquired in 2007.
Together with commercial tires built at the Puchov plan under the auspices of Continental Matador Truck Tires s.r.o. (2.2 million tires a year), the plant will become Conti's largest in Europe in terms of rubber tonnage, the company said.