Continental Tire the Americas (CTA) has announced it will build a new $500 million tire manufacturing plant in Sumter County, SC, to meet growing demand from both retail customers and automotive manufacturers. The investment is anticipated to create 1,700 jobs in the state within the next 10 years. Construction of the plant is on track to begin mid-2012, and be finished in 2013. Plans call for the facility to produce 8 million units per year by 2021.
CTA is one of the leading automotive suppliers in the world, and employs nearly 160,000 employees in 45 countries.
"This important announcement is part of Continental's growth strategy worldwide and, especially in this case, for the Americas market," said Nikolai Setzer, a member of CTA's executive board and head of its 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."
The Coordinating Council approved a $31 million grant for purchase of, and improvements to, the manufacturing site. The project also received a $4 million federally funded Community Development Block Grant through Sumter County to offset costs associated with road and public infrastructure improvements.
"Somehow the word `big' just doesn't seem big enough," said Sumter Development Board Chairman Greg Thompson. "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. 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."
More good news for the state: CTA also announced it will invest another $4 million to build a 16,000-sq.-ft. addition to its headquarters building in Lancaster County, SC, and create 80 new jobs over the next four years. Currently 350 employees work at that location.