CLINTON, Miss.—Continental A.G. officially broke ground on its $1.4 billion commercial truck/bus tire plant on Nov. 3.
Several company executives and political dignitaries participated in the groundbreaking ceremony, including Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Continental's Nikolai Setzer, a member of Continental's Executive Board and head of Continental's global tire business worldwide.
Production is planned to start by year-end 2019, Conti said, and employment is expected to reach 2,500 at full capacity, sometime in the 2020s. Continental said the investment is the largest in the firm's history and the second largest in Mississippi history.
“The groundbreaking of Continental's new tire manufacturing plant in central Mississippi marks a significant milestone in the development of the company's newest state-of-the-art facility,” Bryant said. “I congratulate everyone involved with this monumental project and look forward to the plant's progress.”
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.
The Hinds County plant will be Conti's third in the U.S. and sixth in the Americas. It is Conti's first new plant for the truck tire market in more than a decade.
The German tire maker is in the midst of a $500 million project to double capacity of car and light truck tires at its 3-year-old plant in Sumter, S.C., and it is wrapping up work at its Mount Vernon factory complex on a five-year, $224 million investment to raise capacity, including output of wide-base single truck tires.
According to an Associated Press summary of financial assistance measures, state, regional and local governments are committing about $600 million for the project. The biggest single measure will be $263 million in bonds that the state and Hinds County has borrowed to cover purchasing the site and preparing it for construction.
Conti also will be given franchise, property and income tax breaks valued at more than $300 million.
The plant will include a training center, customer training center and customer showcase facility. Continental will relocate its technology and warranty center from Mount Vernon to the Clinton facility.