3 July, 2016
Continental Invests close to 50 million Euro in Radial Agricultural Tire Production
|Aerial photograph of the Continental tire plant in Lousado, Portugal
- Continental boosts production of agricultural tires in Lousado, Portugal
- 125 new jobs in the coming years
- Agricultural tires with Continental brand in the market from 2017
Continental is investing
49.9 million Euro in its agricultural tires business. In doing so, over
the coming years, the worldwide premium tire manufacturer and technology
company will build production capacities at its tire plant in Lousado,
Portugal. In the course of this ramp-up, 125 new jobs will be created
for the production of the Continental branded premium agricultural
tires. The company also paved the ground for further investments in the
production of agricultural tires in the upcoming future, depending on a
positive market and Continental sales development, respectively.
"With this investment, we give a clear sign that Continental is once
again active as a premium manufacturer in the agricultural tire sector
with our premium Continental brand. In Lousado, we have an excellent
location and a highly motivated and experienced team, which manufactures
cutting-edge radial tires in a state-of-the-art production facility for
the demanding agricultural sector," said Nikolai Setzer, member of the
Executive Board at Continental and head of the Tire division, marking
the signing of the investment agreement in Lousado, Portugal.
"Professional agriculture has undergone rapid change over the past
few years," explained Thorsten Bublitz, business line manager at
Continental responsible for the agricultural tire business. "In view of
the growing world population and the increasing need for agricultural
crops, the number of large-scale operations and therefore the demand for
efficient agricultural tires is increasing. This is where we have many
years of experience as a premium manufacturer," said Bublitz.
Continental intends to bring a complete tire portfolio for agricultural
tractors and harvesting machines to the market, working together with
the major vehicle manufacturers in the process. The range will include
radial and cross-ply tires in 150 sizes.
The introduction of agricultural radial tires under the brand name
Continental in 2017 is marking the end of the trademark license
agreement between Continental and its licensee Mitas closed in 2004.
After the recent decision of the cartel authorities regarding the
acquisition of Mitas, Continental is getting back the brand rights
earlier than 2019 as contractually agreed and thus can introduce its
agricultural tire portfolio under its premium brand.
The start of production for the Continental branded radial
agricultural tires in Lousado is planned for 2017. Continental is
already producing cross-ply tires for the agricultural sector in Port
Elizabeth, South Africa, and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Besides the investment in the manufacturing plant in Lousado,
Continental is additionally investing 2.5 million Euro in a new Research
& Development Center in Lousado with the goal to attain a faster
product portfolio growth of the agricultural tires. This center will do
research in close cooperation with the Central Research &
Development department in Hanover, Germany, and at the start will employ
five recently recruited engineers. It is foreseen to increase the
workforce up to ten highly qualified employees.
Continental also supplies components and systems for agricultural
machines and agricultural infrastructure. The range of products extends
from comprehensive instrumentation and camera solutions, to sensors,
rubber tracks and conveyor belt technology, and exhaust gas treatment.
In supplying this combination of components from a single source,
Continental is in the position to offer agricultural companies
comprehensive solutions for greater efficiency, environmental
friendliness, and conservation of resources.
The investment in the radial agricultural tire sector in Lousado is
part of Vision 2025, which was launched in 2011 and is used by the Tire
division for the strategic planning and systematic implementation of
technological progress. Other examples include investments in the AIBA
(Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer) in 2012, the ContiLifeCycle Plant
for retreading truck tires and rubber recycling in Hanover-Stöcken in
2013, and the High Performance Technology Center in Korbach in 2014.