Continental, the international technology corporation, has finalised the site selection process for its new passenger and light truck tyre production facility in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region and decided to build it in Rayong, Thailand. The first phase of the investment in this new tyre plant would amount to around €250 million with a planned production of about 4 million passenger and light truck tyres (PLT) per year by 2022. Operations is expected to begin in 2019 and Continental expects to create around 900 new jobs in Thailand. This investment is seen as an essential part of the long-term growth strategy from Continental’s Division Tires called ‘Vision 2025’ that aims to expand and balance its global manufacturing footprint to best serve its customers in all regions.
“The investment in Thailand is another major step in realising the ambitious growth plans of our Vision 2025 by further improving the balance of our global manufacturing footprint and enhancing our position as one of the technologically leading tyre manufacturers worldwide. One important pillar of our long-term strategy is to operate with an agile and flexible set-up that enables us to react fast to market requirements, establish further production capacities in the growth region APAC and strongly support our Asia Pacific growth plans with high-tech production capabilities,” stated Nikolai Setzer, Member of Continental’s Executive Board in charge of Corporate Purchasing as well as Division Tires that achieved sales of more than €10 billion in 2015.
“With the decision to build our new tyre site in Thailand we will strengthen our presence in both the Thai market and the rest of the APAC region. This plant will strongly support our planned business growth in both original equipment and replacement business for passenger and light truck tyres and further establish our customer relations in these segments. We want to benefit from the growth potential in this region in the replacement market and are confident that our local production will also enable closer cooperation with new customers to further extend our position in these markets,” added Philipp von Hirschheydt, Head of the Business Unit Replacement APAC PLT.
“The site selection process is very complex as we have to take into account not only the proximity to the markets and our customers, several infrastructure elements but also the workforce available as well as educational institutions that will support us to recruit the best skilled employees. The Thailand government as well as several local institutions have been a very supportive partner during the entire selection process; therefore, we want to express our sincere appreciation. Now we are looking forward to a fruitful and successful long-term cooperation,” explained Michael Egner, Project Manager Greenfield APAC.
The site for Continental’s new Greenfield tyre plant in Rayong complies with all requirements. It is close to the targeted markets and customers, offers a good infrastructure with only 140km distance to Bangkok, offers a deep-sea port in Laem Chabang that is 60km away and universities with a technical profile located nearby. The size of the site is about 750,000m² and potentially allows an expansion of up to 25 million tyre capacity per year. Continental expects the start of construction and ground breaking in 2017.