The plant will augment the company’s North American commercial truck tire production alongside its existing facility in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Last year, Continental also broke ground on a $500 million passenger car tire plant in Sumter, S.C.
Continental will invest nearly $1.4 billion in its Clinton facility in the next decade, making it the largest plant investment in company history and the second-largest economic development project in Mississippi’s history. When fully operational, the plant is expected to employ as many as 2,500 people. The Clinton facility will be Continental’s first new plant for the truck tire business globally in more than 10 years.
“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,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. “I congratulate everyone involved with this monumental project and look forward to the plant’s progress.”
The decision to create a new commercial tire plant in North America production comes as Continental’s market penetration increases in the United States. “We are dedicated to bringing products and solutions to our customers through our excellent dealer network,” said Paul Williams, executive vice president, commercial vehicle tire, the Americas. “We will offer the lowest operating costs for our customers to make them more efficient and add value to their businesses.”
Company officials said the plant will include an internal training center, customer training center and customer showcase facility, and Continental will relocate its technology and warranty center from Mt. Vernon to the Clinton facility.
Site preparation is expected to take a year and a half with plant construction beginning in 2018 and manufacturing operations beginning by the end of 2019.
“We believe in our long-term opportunities to grow our business further in U.S. market,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of Continental’s Executive Board and head of Continental’s global tire business worldwide. “We are here for good, and we are convinced that the state of Mississippi provides the best options for Continental to grow our tire business.”
Not including the investment in the Clinton plant, Continental has invested nearly $2.5 billion in the past decade for manufacturing, technology, facilities and product development to grow its tire business in the Americas.