Continental Ag has installed its first machine at its new tire manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand.
Around 180 guests that included Thai officials as well as Continental management, suppliers and dealers gathered at the plant for a ceremony to celebrate the installation of its calendering machine. With almost 100 meters length, the machine is also one of the largest machines in the factory and is used to coat fabric and steel with rubber, creating continuous rubber sheets used in the tire production process. The plant is on track and slated to start production in 2019.
“The investment into the Greenfield tire plant in Thailand is an integral part of our growth strategy called Vision 2025,” said Nikolai Setzer, a member of Continental’s executive board and head of its tire division. “The combination of innovative German engineering combined with local Thai production capabilities ensures the highest quality tire manufacturing that Thai and Asian consumers are looking for, thus fulfilling our philosophy of ‘In The Market, For The Market’. The pace at which infrastructure development is happening on the Eastern Seaboard is encouraging for us. Therefore, we would like to thank the Thai government, the Ministry of Industry and the Thai Board of Investment for the support given so far.”
The plant, the seventh one the German tiremaker has built since 1998, will have energy efficiency standards with all machines equipped with technology for sustainable production processes.
The Rayong plant will add to the 19 tire plants in 16 countries to 20 plants in 17 countries for the company in 2019.
In the plant’s first phase, Continental has a targeted annual capacity of four million tires with a workforce of around 900 employees until 2022. The site allows for a potential capacity expansion of up to 25 million tires per year.