Increasing demand for Continental and General brand passenger and light truck tires in North and South America is the driving force behind a $224 million investment announced by Continental Tire the Americas, LLC. (CTA). Along with the investment come a total of 444 new full-time jobs to be filled within the next three years. The investment is part of Continental’s comprehensive growth strategy for its tire operations worldwide.
The announcement was made at a news conference at the Mt. Vernon plant. Members of Governor Pat Quinn’s administration joined CTA officials in highlighting legislation the Governor signed (Senate Bill 4) which was key to CTA’s investment in the plant.
“Today’s announcement would not have been possible without the support of the state of Illinois and Governor Pat Quinn,” says Matthias Schoenberg, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas. “Illinois offered us competitive incentives to create these well-paying jobs with excellent benefits for the people in southern Illinois.“
“Creating jobs and encouraging investment in Illinois is strengthening our state’s economic recovery,“ says Governor Quinn. “Continental’s decision to invest in Mt. Vernon will create jobs and make a lasting impact throughout this region, leading to further private-sector growth and economic development.“
Details about the Mt. Vernon project
Continental will complete this investment over the next three years, resulting in 444 new jobs and a significant increase in tire-producing capacity to meet customer demand for passenger and light truck tires. Of the $224 million, $171 million will be directed for new machinery and equipment, and $53 million will be directed for building and infrastructure. The Mt. Vernon plant capacity will increase by nearly 4 million tires per year.
The increased capacity planned by passenger and light truck tire division is also replicated by the commercial vehicle tire division, which is increasing capacity in Mt. Vernon by 15%, bringing capacity to 3.15 million tires per year by December 2012. The first 5% increase has already been achieved.
”Including today’s announcement, CTA has invested nearly $500 million in this facility since 2006 to increase production of passenger and commercial truck tires because our employees here have proven their dedication to successfully meeting the ongoing challenges in our industry,” says Benny Harmse, vice president of manufacturing in Mt. Vernon. “This significant investment is a reflection of CTA’s ongoing commitment to the city of Mt. Vernon and the state of Illinois and recognition of the superior work being done here by our highly skilled team.”
Employment at the plant has grown by about 400 jobs since 2006, bringing the current plant employment to more than 2,500. The additional 444 new full-time jobs will bring total plant employment to nearly 3,000 in the next three years.
“Continental Tire the Americas is experiencing significant growth and demand for its tires throughout the region,” says Schoenberg. “Adding production capacity to meet this demand was essential. And, the Mt. Vernon employees earned this investment as they continue to prove that they are competitive on a global level.”
This business growth is highlighted by a nearly 7% increase in total volume for the passenger and light truck tire business in the Americas region within the past three years, leading to significantly increased profitability across the region.
More Expansion News for the Americas
In March 2011, Continental Tire the Americas announced a $210 million investment to expand production capacity at its tire plant located in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil. The investment will create 400 new jobs and double capacity in the plant.
In April 2011, the company announced that funding was approved for a greenfield tire plant in North America – another major element of Continental’s comprehensive growth strategy in the Americas.
“While we don’t have any details to share at this time regarding the potential new plant in North America, we hope to have an announcement to make later this year,” Schoenberg says. “With all this activity in the region I am confident that Continental Tire the Americas will continue on this successful path of providing our customers in North and South America with a broad selection of outstanding tires for their cars and trucks.”