PUCHOV, Slovak Republic—Continental A.G. has christened an expanded research and development facility at its Púchov tire plant that will support expanded manufacturing at the facility.
Conti has budgeted $9.4 million for the project, which will run until 2016 and include the installation of a tire durability test drum and labs for tire analysis along with infrastructure to connect the new and old facilities, according to Libor Heger, director of the technology center at Púchov.
The new research and development center is a state-of-the-art three-story building, with space for 53 offices and 10 meeting rooms. The cornerstone was laid in June 2013.
The new building anchors what Heger calls the TCP/GEP Campus and supports a project to expand annual capacity for car and light truck tires at Puchov to more than 16 million units a year.
Conti also has budgeted $135 million to expand truck tire capacity at Púchov by 400,000 units annually to boost output to about 3 million units a year.
The tire maker said the expansion of R&D assets will increase the number of technology-related jobs by 15 percent but did not quantify the number of jobs.
Guests at the opening ceremony of the new center included Slovak Prime Minister Róbert Fico and local governmental officials, as well as Nikolai Setzer, member of Conti's executive board together with representatives of the local Continental management and employees.