Global tire manufacturer Continental is expanding its role in the commercial vehicle sector with the launch of a $1.4 billion plant in Clinton, Miss. The 148-year-old Hanover, Germany-based company started out by manufacturing rubber, but this factory, which celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 16, will be the first dedicated to making truck and bus radial tires. Production begins next year.
“This is Continental’s first new plant dedicated to truck tires in the world,” said Paul Williams, executive vice president, Commercial Vehicle Tires, the Americas. “We have seen tremendous growth in this area of our business and the addition of this production facility will help us continue to satisfy customer orders.”
The greenfield plant, set on 1,000 acres abut 20 miles form Jackson, is expected to employ 2,500 people by the time it reaches full capacity by the end of the next decade.
Continental currently outfits major Class 8 OEMs including Freightliner, International, Ford, Mack and Volvo with new tires and retreads. To keep capacity inflating, it is adopting new tech to ensure the smartest rubber hits the road. The 148-year-old former rubber manufacturer says the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors embedded in their intelligent tires minimize irregular wear, save fuel, reduce maintenance costs, avoid breakdowns and generally improve safety. The ContiPressureCheck Integrated solution allows remote monitoring from the office so management and support personnel can provide support when needed.
“The completion of our new tire plant signifies a major step in our global long-term growth strategy for Continental Tires, called Vision 2025,” said Christian Koetz, Continental board member and head of the tire division. “Mississippi is a critical part of this strategy, providing the best options for us to grow the tire business in the Americas region. We plan to grow here together with our amazing team in Clinton and we appreciate the strong support we have received from all involved.”