HANOVER, Germany—ContiTech A.G. is expanding its operations in Europe and China to handle growth in both regions.
In separate moves, the company said it has launched production at the first rubber compounding facility it has built in China, purchased a hose maker in Germany and is expanding a hose assembly plant in Serbia.
ContiTech spent about $11 million to construct the 32,200-sq.-ft. mixing plant, its first general application compounding complex—other than for conveyor belts or hose—built outside of Europe by the firm.
Up until now, it has been producing compounds for applications such as hose, belts and tires at two plants it operates in Germany and a third in Hungary.
It does have another small compounding plant in China that was previously owned by Veyance Technologies Inc., which was acquired by ContiTech parent Continental A.G. in January 2015.
The company built the newest facility in China because it wants to continue to grow in the Chinese market, according to Hans-Juergen Duensing, CEO of ContiTech and a member of the executive board of Continental.
Once the plant is built, machinery on the first production line installed will be some of the most efficient within ContiTech, said Peter Scholtissek, head of the firm's compounding technology business unit.
On the Serbian front, the company intends to double the size of its 77,500-sq.-ft. hose assembly facility in Subotica with the addition of another building that will be used for production. Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2015 and be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
ContiTech is expanding the operation because of “the continuing good order book situation” at the site, according to Markus Murk, who heads up the power train segment within the ContiTech Mobile Fluid Systems business.
About 650 are currently employed at the plant, and the expansion could create hundreds of more jobs, the firm said.
The facility supplies hose to European car manufacturers as well as makers of trucks, agricultural vehicles and industrial trucks.
Meanwhile, the company is in the process of acquiring Waltershausen, Germany-based Knapheide GmbH Hydraulic Hoses from the Knapheide Group for an undisclosed amount to expand its capabilities in the hydraulic hose sector, according to a company spokeswoman.
The purchased firm's 90 employees will be retained by ContiTech, she said.
Both property and modern machinery are part of the purchase, she said, but did not expand on that. Approval by German antitrust authorities is needed before the deal can close.
Knapheide's hose factory is located in close proximity to a ContiTech plant in the area, the spokeswoman said.
European Rubber Journal contributed to this report.