JACKSON, Miss.—Continental A.G.'s decision to commit $1.4 billion for a truck/bus tire plant in Mississippi reflects the firm's belief that demand for its commercial tire products in North America will continue to grow above market pace.
Continental claims its commercial sector business growth in North Amercia “has consistently exceeded the market over the last five years, and the company continues to see customer demand for its products—both new truck and bus tires as well as retreads growing beyond existing capacity,” Nikolai Setzer, Continental's executive board member for the tire business, said.
Continental's truck/bus tire market share in North America is estimated at roughly 7 to 8 percent, counting the Continental and General brands together, according to estimates by Tire Business, a sister publication of Rubber & Plastics News.
Conti anticipates breaking ground in the next several months on the plant at a site in Hinds County, Mississippi, 20 miles west of Jackson along Interstate 20. The state of Mississippi will purchase the site—said to be roughly 900 acres—and subsidize part of the plant's construction, according to various media reports.
Production is planned to start by the end of 2019, Conti said, without disclosing the plant's expected capacity. Employment is expected to reach 2,500 at full capacity, sometime in the 2020s.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said, “The positive impact this manufacturing plant will have on the region, the state and our automotive industry will be felt for many years to come. I look forward to the company's success and longevity in Hinds County.”