Continental is to invest approximately €100m into the expansion of its radial Earthmoving and Port tyres production facilities in Lousado, Portugal. The newly expanded centre will continue to produce tyres with a diameter larger than 24 inches and will create more than 100 new jobs.
“Thanks to the investments and 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”, said Christian Kötz, member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the tyre division.
The new production hall is created adjacent to the radial agricultural tyre production facility opened in 2017. Equipped with state-of-the-art tyre building machinery and automated devices, it is designed to deliver cutting-edge radial tyres while following the highest of ergonomic standards. Once at full speed, the production lines will deliver three earthmoving tyre lines and another three port tyre lines. Besides the new production facilities, the research and development centre in Lousado is being expanded and will be used for continuous performance and quality tests of all agricultural, port and earthmoving tyres. “This investment strengthens our footprint in Lousado and transforms the top-efficiency plant into a competence centre for big radial tyres for off-road use”, concludes Kötz.
To date, the Portuguese plant employs more than 2,000 people. In addition to agricultural, port and earthmoving tyres, Lousado also manufactures passenger car tyres with a production coming to around 18 million tyres. Over the past years, Continental has invested around €150m into increasing the production of passenger car tyres, expanding high-performance tyre production and ramping-up the production of agricultural tyres in Lousado. Investments like these are in response to Continental tyre’s long-term Vision 2025 strategy.