HANOVER, Germany—Continental A.G.'s tire business invested $162 million in the first quarter in tire capacity improvements and expansions, the company disclosed in its quarterly earnings report.
The tire business there included major additions to plants in Sumter, S.C.—where Conti has budgeted $500 million through 2017 to double that facility's annual capacity—Puchov, Slovakia; Hefei, China; and Lousado, Portugal, according to the firm.
Conti also has committed $1.4 billion over several years for a plant in Mississippi, where it plans to make truck and bus tires initially but where management now acknowledges it might add capacity for passenger, light truck and specialty tires. That project could result in 2,500 jobs by 2030, Conti said.
Tire division sales rose 3.8 percent in the quarter ended March 31 to $2.77 billion on higher volumes in both the consumer and commercial sectors. The adjusted pre-tax operating income jumped 17 percent to $726.4 million, yielding an earnings ratio of 26.2 percent.