SUMTER, S.C.—With about 400 government officials, community leaders, tire dealers and company employees in attendance, Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. officially opened its $500 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Sumter Jan. 28.
The company initially hired 390 employees for the plant and plans to add about 200 more this year as the factory ramps up production to 800,000 tires during 2014.
By 2017 the plant is expected to produce 5 million tires annually and by 2021 have capacity to produce 8 million units annually.
The facility eventually will create 1,600 jobs, Conti said.
"The opening of this plant is a very important milestone for our goal of growing our tire business in the United States. This beautiful new facility contains the highest level of machinery and technology to produce the best car and light truck tires possible," said Nikolai Setzer, head of Continental's global tire business and a member of Continental A.G.'s executive board.
Conti executives, along with politicians and dignitaries, toured a tire finishing area in the company's new passenger and light truck tire plant in Sumter. Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, called the ceremony "recognition of the successful collaboration between business and government."