Continental invests EUR100m into Portuguese production

Premium tyre manufacturer Continental is set to expand its production facilities in Lousado, Portugal, with investments amounting to EUR100 million which will employ cutting-edge technology and create about 100 new jobs. Christian Kötz, of the Executive Board at Continental, said the investment will transform the Lousado plant into a competence centre for big radial OTR tyres.

New tyre machinery and automated devices will deliver the production of radial Earthmoving and Port tyres of 24 inches in diameter or higher – three each of Earthmoving and Port tyre lines is expected at full capacity. The expanded assembly hall is tobe near Continental’s radial agricultural tyre production facility and the tyres will undergo quality testing at the Lousado R&D development centre.

The 2,000-strongplant currently manufactures passenger car tyres in addition to its agricultural, port and earthmoving tyre production. In order to expand high-performance tyre production,Continental has invested around EUR150 million into increasing the production of passenger car and agricultural tyres in the city, as part of its Vision 2025 growth strategy.

Continental’s other facility expansions and technology offerings include the specialised plants and testing centre in US; and projects like the Automated Indoor Braking Analyser at the company’s Contidrom Proving Grounds and the High Performance Technology Centre, both in Germany.

Kötz, who is also Continental’s Tire Division Head, thinks highly of the additional capacity created, “We are continuing to pursue the growth strategy of the tyre division – both the port and earthmoving segments are among the key growth areas in the commercial specialty tyre market. The new production lines clearly reflect our commitment to these segments and the overall OTR business.”