OTROKOVICE, Czech Republic—Continental A.G. plans to double capacity for truck and bus radials at its plant in Otrokovice by 2018 with a $226 million investment, in part to serve customers in the Americas.
The project will boost capacity at the 40-year-old plant to 1.5 million tires annually, Conti said, and create up to 300 jobs.
Andreas Esser, head of Conti's Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit called the expansion a “strategic step focusing on long-term market growth.”
The plant will not only continue to serve Europe, Middle East and Africa, he said, it will also become a production hub for the Americas and Russia.
This is Conti's third major expansion announcement for truck and bus tires in the past year. Earlier this year, Conti disclosed plans to invest $95 million at its Mount Vernon, Ill., plant and $135 million in the Puchov, Slovak Republic, plant.
Together these three expansions represent about 1.5 million units of new annual capacity for truck/bus radials by 2018.
“In addition to the further build-up of production capacity,” Esser said, “we will also benefit from the synergies of being in the same location with our largest passenger and light truck tire production site worldwide. Logistics, technological competence and experience in up-scaling production are already in place.
“This additional capacity will give us more flexibility especially in regard to the product portfolio, and it gives us a chance to supply markets in Americas and Russia,” said Thierry Wipff, head of manufacturing at the Commercial Vehicle Tires unit.
Conti said Otrokovice is its largest tire plant worldwide, with annual capacity of 700,000 truck and bus tires and 21 million passenger and light truck tires.
Conti acquired the plant 21 years ago from the Czech entity Barum Holdings. Last year, it celebrated “20-40-80”—the 20th anniversary of Continental operations there, 40 years of production at the current location and 80 years of tire production in the Otrokovice region.