Continental last week announced it has shipped the first tires from its greenfield plant in Clinton, Miss., U.S., less than four years after the initial groundbreaking.
Continental says its new Clinton plant produces large truck and bus tires for the North American market, and will employ 500 people by the end of 2020. It is Continental’s second location producing truck tires in the United States, along with Mount Vernon, Ill.
“Continental is proud to deliver the first tire shipment from the Clinton plant,” says Tom Fanning, Continental’s U.S. market manager for truck and bus tires. “This plant will produce 750,000 tires annually, enhancing our ability to service the North American market and deliver tires faster to our customers.”
Beginning to ramp up production despite the pandemic was a challenge. The company says its first priority was the safety of its employees, leading to implementation of additional safety requirements, such as the wearing of personal protective equipment, as well as increased frequency of disinfection in common areas, stations with personal hygiene supplies, and an onsite nurse. More than 280 employees collaborated safely to deliver the first shipment of tires on time.
“This is another great milestone for the Continental plant in Mississippi. Our goal is to be a reliable partner and supplier. By living our core values ‘passion to win’ and ‘for one another,’ we can achieve both,” says Michael Egner, Clinton plant manager.
Continental has seen customer demand for commercial vehicle tires growing globally in the past decade, both in new truck and bus tires, as well as tire retreads. This growth led the company to establish further production capacity in the U.S. The Clinton plant is Continental’s first new plant for the truck tire business globally in more than 10 years, the company says.
“Continental takes an ‘in the market, for the market’ approach to sales and manufacturing,” says Fanning. “We are excited to continue moving forward, and we rely on our dealer partners to deliver the Continental promise to fleet customers, helping them achieve their Lowest Overall Driving Cost across the nation.”