The dedication ceremony was attended by Brazil’s president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Manfred Wennemer, Continental’s executive board chairman.
Continental said that, by the end of 2006, the plant, which will primarily serve North America, will be producing 9,000 passenger tires a day, and output will increase to 14,000 units per day in the first half of 2007. Production of commercial truck tires is slated to start in July with an initial output of 1,000 tires per day, increasing to 1,700 tires per day in 2007.
“Erection of this plant marks a further step in our involvement in growth markets. At the same time, we are remaining true to our strategy of further expanding production at low-cost locations," said Wennemer.
"The new low-cost production capacities play a key role in our concept for the future passenger tire business in the loss-making NAFTA region. At the same time, the capacities allow for profitable growth," said Wennemer.