Continental celebrates grand opening of Clinton plant
CLINTON — Continental Tire celebrated a major milestone Wednesday as it held a grand opening for its new manufacturing facility in Clinton. The celebration marks the completion of the construction process, which began in 2016.
An estimated 300 guests, including state and local officials, community members, customers and suppliers joined 250 Continental employees for the event.
The new plant is located on a 1,000-acre greenfield site in Hinds County, approximately two miles west of Clinton.
Continental has committed nearly $1.4 billion and expects to employ 2,500 people when the plant reaches full capacity in the next decade.
“Mississippi welcomes Continental to our great state and looks forward to many years of job creation and synergy with the company,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “This advanced facility helps position our state and our people as champions of manufacturing excellence.”
Christian Koetz, a member of Continental’s executive board and head of the tire division said, “The completion of our new tire plant signifies a major step in our global long-term growth strategy for Continental Tires, called Vision 2025. Mississippi is a critical part of this strategy, providing the best options for us to grow the tire business in the Americas region. We plan to grow here together with our amazing team in Clinton and we appreciate the strong support we have received from all involved.”
The plant will produce large truck and bus tires for the U.S. market. Production is set to begin in 2020.
Continental is a manufacturer of premium tires, including commercial vehicle tires, and has seen customer demand in the segment growing globally in the past decade, both in new truck and bus tires, as well as tire retreads. This growth led the company to establish further production capacity United States with the plant in Clinton.
“This is Continental’s first new plant dedicated to truck tires in the world,” Paul Williams, executive vice president, Commercial Vehicle Tires, the Americas, said. “We have seen tremendous growth in this area of our business and the addition of this production facility will help us continue to satisfy customer orders.”
Not only was Wednesday’s grand opening a big event for Clinton, but the economic impact from the plant is expected to benefit an entire region.
“It is exciting to see Continental’s flagship production plant in the United States opening right next door and with plans to hire over 2,500 more employees,” Pablo Diaz, executive director of the Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Partnership, said. “Given that Warren County is practically located minutes away from the plant, we are sure we will see benefits from its economic impact in the way of jobs and potential population growth.”
Diaz said Continental’s expected hiring figures, and the speed at which they expect to add employees, should drive down unemployment in the central Mississippi region.
“It is important to notice the pace at which Continental plans to hire its employees, at a rate of 250 per year. The hiring schedule allows for housing developers to be able to plan and stack developments to serve the housing needs of employees moving to the region,” Diaz said. “Unemployment rates are currently low all across the metro area and although it is certain that many jobs will be taken by people already residing in the region, we believe many of those jobs will be filled by new residents that will move in.
“As a community, we need to focus on implementing better policies that would allow for faster and easier development of housing in Vicksburg and Warren County if we are to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
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