Continental Tire the Americas LLC officially opened its $500 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Sumter, S.C., on Jan. 28. The company hired approximately 390 employees for the plant with plans to hire an additional 200 to the staff this year as the factory ramps up production to 800,000 tires in 2014.
The plant expects to produce five million tires annually by 2017; it expects to have the capacity to produce eight million tires annually by 2021. Continental Tire the Americas reported it will eventually create 1,600 jobs.
Construction of the plant began in June 2012 on a 500-acre tract of land. Continental Tire the Americas said tire production began three months ahead of schedule last October. The plant is expected to produce both Continental and General tire lines for the original equipment and replacement markets. At the plant’s groundbreaking in March 2012, Project Manager Craig Baartman said the long-term plans for the Sumter tire plant include nearly doubling the factory’s size and capacity by 2021 and possibly the addition of truck tire capacity.