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South Carolina receives Silver Award in Business Facilities Competition

Continental’s $500 million investment expected to create 1,700 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – January 26, 2012 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce earned second place in the Business Facilities 2011 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition for the Continental Tire the Americas (CTA) new plant in Sumter County, S.C. The $500 million investment is expected to generate 1,700 new jobs, including 80 new jobs in CTA’s headquarters in Lancaster County, S.C.

“This world-class, $500 million tire manufacturing facility is the largest industrial investment ever made in Sumter County,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers. “It will be a huge shot in the arm for the growth potential of the entire region.”

The Economic Development Deal of the Year competition was open to any organization with an economic development mission limited to a defined city, state or region. Submissions were scored based on their projected economic impact statistics as well as a narrative describing the project’s challenges, originality and likely impact on the local community.

The award recipients were announced in December and have appeared in the January issue of Business Facilities. The winners were chosen by a judging panel of industry experts who reviewed 23 submissions from across the U.S.

The Gold Award winner was the Kentucky-Ford Partnership for a $1.2 billion investment that uses incentives to spur growth at Ford Motor Co.’s Louisville facilities. The third place prize went to the City of Mesa, Arizona for bringing the First Solar manufacturing facility to the Greater Phoenix area.

Earning the Silver Award for South Carolina, CTA’s investment in Sumter is estimated to have an overall economic impact of $1.82 billion over the next 10 years.

“Continental is a world-class company, and it is truly exciting that they have chosen South Carolina for this new $500 million investment that will create 1,700 new jobs. This announcement is a big win for our state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

“Continental’s investment in this new tire plant would not have been possible without the strong support of the state of South Carolina, Governor Haley and Department of Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas.  “South Carolina provides an outstanding business climate and we are pleased to offer these jobs with competitive pay and benefits for the people of this great state."

Located on a greenfield site off U.S. Highway 521, the new 1 million-square-foot plant will open in early 2014. In the first phase, the facility is expected to reach its production capacity of 5 million tires per year by 2017. A second phase is projected to increase the capacity to 8 million units per year by 2021.

The facility will allow CTA to meet growing demand from the retail level and automotive manufacturers. The company’s business growth is demonstrated by an annual growth rate of 20 percent in volume for the passenger and light truck tire business in the Americas region over the past two years.

In addition to the Sumter project, CTA will be expanding its headquarters in Lancaster County, S.C. The headquarters, which opened in 2009 and currently employs approximately 350 people, will receive a $4 million investment that is expected to generate 80 new jobs over the next four years.

Those interested in employment with CTA can find job postings on The jobs link is under the “Continental Corporation” tab on the home page. The company will also communicate information to potential applicants in the coming months.

About Continental
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 164,000 employees in 45 countries.