Today, Continental marked the official start-up of its new High Performance Technology Center (HPTC) at the Korbach plant in Germany by producing the first tire. The new plant, which had been under construction since September 2014, represents an investment of some €45 million and has created a total of 80 new jobs. When regular production is underway, the new plant will have an annual capacity of 350,000 tires ranging in size from 19 to 24 inches and destined for ultra-high-performance cars with their exacting technological requirements. At the same time, a new “research department on the shop floor” is designed to trial new tire production processes and techniques. Effectively, this means that Korbach will be acting as the extended workbench of the central R&D function in Hanover-Stöcken. Any new techniques developed will be rolled out to Continental's tire plants around the world.
“HPTC emphatically underlines Continental's tight focus on technology and commitment to further development,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of the Executive Board of Continental AG responsible for the Tire Division. “Reaching this technological milestone marks the completion of another major step in implementing our Vision 2025, which includes the ongoing expansion of our global tire manufacturing capacity, not only in Germany and Europe but also in The Americas and the APAC region. In pursuit of this vision, since 2011 we have invested over €2 billion worldwide in production, R&D, job creation and new products.”
The High Performance Technology Center was ceremonially opened in the presence of guests from national, regional and local politics and Korbach employees. The plant was jointly inaugurated by Nikolai Setzer, Lothar Salokat, Korbach Plant Manager, and Jörg Schönfelder, Chairman of the Works Council at Korbach. The first tire produced at the HPTC was a high-tech SportContact 6 super sports tire designed for luxury ultra-high-performance cars. Production of the new SportContact 6 at the Korbach plant began in August last year.