Continental Tire the Americas (CTA) has announced plans to build a new tire manufacturing plant in Sumter County to meet growing demand from both the retail level and automotive manufacturers. The $500-million investment is expected to generate 1,700 new jobs in South Carolina over the next 10 years.
“This important announcement is part of Continental’s growth strategy worldwide and, especially in this case, for the Americas’ market,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of Continental’s global tire business. “Increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in the U.S., as well as the improved business results for CTA, has made this significant investment possible. On behalf of the 160,000 employees of Continental, I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Governor Haley, the state of South Carolina, the SC Ports Authority and Sumter County.”
The first phase of production capacity at the plant in this project is expected to be nearly 5 million tires when the plant reaches full production levels in 2017. A second phase of the project is expected to bring the plant’s capacity to 8 million units per year by 2021.
“Continental is a world-class company, and it is truly exciting that they have chosen South Carolina for this new $500 million investment that will create 1,700 new jobs. This announcement is a big win for our state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Continental Tire the Americas’ business growth is highlighted by a nearly 20 percent increase in total volume for the passenger and light truck tire business in the Americas region in the past two years, leading to increased profitability across the region.
“Today’s announcement further strengthens South Carolina’s membership in the automotive club. This is also the fourth announcement this year involving the recruitment of 500 or more jobs,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.
The new manufacturing facility will be located at a greenfield site off of U.S. Highway 521 in Sumter County. The announcement was made at a news conference today in Sumter at the Sumter Opera House.
“Today’s announcement would not have been possible without the strong support of the state of South Carolina, Governor Haley and Secretary Hitt,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas. “South Carolina offered us the most compelling business climate that allows us to create these well-paying jobs with competitive benefits for the people of this great state.”
“The Port of Charleston congratulates Continental Tire. The Port connects businesses throughout the state to markets around the world, and we look forward to serving Continental’s shipping needs,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority.
“Somehow the word ‘big’ just doesn’t seem big enough. In a matter of a few short years, this new facility will go from an idea to one of the largest economic drivers in our community,” said Sumter Development Board Chairman Greg A. Thompson. “At more than $500 million, it’s the largest industrial investment the county has ever seen. It will have an impact not only on Sumter County and its people, but on workers and families throughout the region. We welcome Continental Tire to Sumter County, and we couldn’t be more excited about both its future and our own.”
“This is a ninth-inning grand slam for Sumter County, a real game-changer, and we’re pleased to help the company create these jobs for our people. Continental clearly recognized that we have a skilled, dedicated and loyal workforce that will help make the company successful. We’re all very excited the company chose to become a part of Sumter County and will be growing with us,” said Sumter County Council Chairman Eugene R. Baten.
“We in Sumter are indeed proud of this announcement. Continental Tire could have located anywhere but the fact the company chose Sumter is a tribute to our community, its people and the entire Sumter team,” said Sumter Mayor Joseph McElveen Jr. “It is also a tribute to Gov. Haley and her Department of Commerce team, led by Secretary Hitt. This is a very big day for Sumter.”
The Coordinating Council approved a $31 million grant for purchase of and improvements to the site. The project was also awarded a $4 million federally funded Community Development Block Grant through Sumter County to offset costs associated with road and public infrastructure improvements.