Continental officially opens its first tire plant in China

Hefei, (PresseBox) - .
- Key milestone for ensuring strategic growth in the Asian tire market
- More than €185 million investment in tire manufacturing plant in Hefei creates approximately 600 jobs
- Annual tire production capacity of 4 million tires

Today, Continental, one of the leading international automotive suppliers and tire producers worldwide, officially opened its first Chinese tire plant in Hefei, Anhui province. With the achievement of this milestone, Continental is strengthening its position in the Chinese market and ensuring its strategic growth in Asia. "Asia is one of our key growth markets. This investment is another major step into this direction, with which we are significantly enhancing our position in the automotive industry in China and in the Asia Pacific region," said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, CEO of the Continental Corporation.

From 2012 onwards, nearly every second car worldwide will be manufactured in Asia, with Chi-na being the growth leader. Continental is looking to have an over-proportional growth in China and has expanded its presence in 18 production locations, 15 sales offices, representing a workforce of approximately 14,000 in the country.

The new high technology facility will have an annual production capacity of four million passen-ger tires, which will be sold in the local Chinese and Asian market. Continental's investment will add up to more than €185 million. With this investment, Continental will be creating 200 jobs at Hefei in 2011, in addition to the more than 400 existing ones. Locally produced Continental tires will be supplied to the Chinese market starting in the next few weeks. The targeted total produc-tion volume of the entire Hefei plant is 16 million tires, for which further investments for the ex-pansion of the existing production capacity are planned in the near future. These investments will also create additional jobs.

The new plant was officially opened today by CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Nikolai Setzer, Execu-tive Board member responsible for the Passenger Car and Light Truck Tires division, plant manager Tobias Kerle and representatives of local authorities.

"Continental's tires business has been globally growing substantially for the past years in both segments, passenger and light truck tires as well as commercial vehicle tires. The opening of our manufacturing plant in Hefei is a key milestone on our journey to enhancing strategic growth and further increasing our presence in China and overall in Asia," commented Nikolai Setzer.

With the production release granted by the local authorities, including China Compulsory Certifi-cate approval, the plant is now gradually ramping up the passenger tire production to meet the Asia Pacific market needs. Equipped with the top end tire production lines, the new plant's au-tomation level in the manufacturing process and quality inspection is nearly unprecedented in the Chinese tire industry. The state-of-the-art production facility is designed such that its capacity can be modified flexibly to satisfy expected future growth. The Hefei plant produces premium medium- and high-end passenger tires to meet both local demand in China as well as interna-tionally. In 2011, the first high-volume products from the new plant will include the ContiPre-miumContact 2 and ContiComfortContact 5, both of which are tailored for the Chinese market.

In response to Hefei City's overall city planning, Continental attaches great importance to the environmental friendliness of its products and processes, sophisticated equipment and the latest manufacturing processes in this new manufacturing unit, thus ensuring zero pollutant emissions. The Hefei plant is one of 27 production and R&D locations of Continental's tire divisions world-wide.

Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH

With sales of €26 billion in 2010, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 155,000 employees in 45 countries.

Continental is the European market leader for passenger and light truck tires. More than 30 percent of all new European cars leave manufacturing plants fitted with Continental tires. Continental's tire divisions are an official sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM. For further details, please go to www.ContiSoccerWorld.com.

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