Continental is expanding production facilities in Lousado, Portugal with a US$113m investment.
The new capacity will be used for the production of radial earthmoving and port tyres with a diameter larger than 24 inches. In the course of the ramp-up, more than 100 new jobs will be created.
“Thanks to the investments and additional capacity created, we are continuing to pursue the growth strategy of the tyre division,” said Continental Tyre Division head, Christian Kotz.
“Both the port and earthmoving segments are among the key growth areas in the commercial speciality tyre market. The new production lines reflect our commitment to these segments and the overall OTR business.”
The new production hall is created adjacent to the radial agricultural tyre production facility opened in 2017. Once at full speed, the production lines will deliver three earthmoving tyre lines and another three-port tyre lines.
Besides the new production facilities, the research and development centre in Lousado is being expanded and will be used for continuous performance and quality tests of all agricultural, port and earthmoving tyres.
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To date, the Portuguese plant employs more than 2,000 people. In addition to agricultural, port and earthmoving tyres, Lousado also manufactures passenger car tyres with production coming to around 18m tyres.
During the past years, Continental has invested around EUR150m into increasing the production of passenger car tyres, expanding high-performance tyre production and ramping-up the production of agricultural tyres in Lousado.
In addition to investments in Lousado, Continental has invested in various facility expansions and technology offerings including the Commercial Vehicle Tyre Plant in Clinton, Mississippi; capacity extensions in other existing tyre plants, such as Sumter, South Carolina, and projects like the Automated Indoor Braking Analyser at the company’s Contidrom Proving Grounds near Hanover, Germany; the new testing centre in Uvalde, Texas, US; and the High-Performance Technology Centre in Korbach, Germany.