Around €40 million will be invested in Continental’s Korbach factory in Germany by 2018, the tiremaker reported on Sept. 30. The company’s tire division will use these funds to establish a specialist production line for 19 to 22-inch passenger car and light commercial vehicle tires to meet growing international demand from both the original equipment segments, as well as for the central development of the process technology required to manufacture these tires.
Continental says the performance characteristics of products such as these are placing ever more stringent demands upon its engineering and production staff when it comes to process technology. “With this investment, we are taking deliberate action to scale up our investment program in the further development of product-specific expertise in tire design, tire tread, tire contours, and tire compounds, as well as in the expansion of our global tire production capacity,” stated Nikolai Setzer, executive board member for Continental’s Tire division.
“In bundling our expertise at the Korbach site, we will also be taking away some of the burden on our other production sites in a bid to drive forward the development of new high-tech processes for our tire plants worldwide from a central location,” Setzer added. “Increasing our investment in new, highly efficient tire testing technology such as the AIBA, for example, will help us to further improve our technological position.”
Korbach plant manager Lothar Salokat added: “We are extremely proud of the fact that this internal high-tech project will help set us apart from other international production locations and will also create over 60 new jobs in Korbach by 2018. We will do our best to meet the challenges of starting production in 2016 and ramping up the production volume to around 400,000 U-UHP tires by 2018. Our Continental team in Korbach, which when we include the Tire Distribution Center and ContiTech now totals a workforce of more than 3,000 people, has proven time and again not only that it is highly flexible and extremely motivated but is also capable of responding to immense challenges.”
“We see this investment decision as a form of recognition for all the hard work that our employees have put in over recent years,” commented Jörg Schönfelder, head of the Works Council at Continental’s Korbach site. “Furthermore, it also forms an important element of our strategy to secure the site. People have enormous faith in us and this is something we can be proud of. Although this project in Korbach is an ambitious one, I am confident that it will also be a success and play an instrumental part in ensuring the success of the company as a whole.” (Tyres & Accessories)