Continental Tire has been named Tire Manufacturer of the Year for 2017, beating out a host of other companies for the international award.
The German-based company that operates one of its tire manufacturing facilities in Sumter was praised for its investments in research and development into environmental-friendly innovations during the past year, with jurors highlighting the company’s recent unveiling of tires using dandelion-based rubber.
The company, which has established a research center dedicated to the product, has said it hopes the new truck tires utilizing dandelion rubber will go past the testing stages and enter full production within the next five to ten years.
Continental was presented their new Tire Technology International Award earlier this week during an industry exposition in Hannover, Germany. Finalists for the award included manufacturers Hankook, Michelin and Yokohama.
“We are very excited about this award because it recognizes several technology projects and innovations that we have already realized, working consistently within the scope of our Vision 2025 long-term growth strategy,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of the executive board of Continental Corporation. “At the same time, being awarded as the most innovative tire manufacturer is a great motivation for our global team – now more than 50,000 employees – to continue on this path, step by step.”
Continental opened their 1 million square-foot Sumter facility in 2014, two years after initially breaking ground on the plant on U.S. 521 South. The manufacturer is already well into an expansion of the facilities, adding another 720,000 square feet onto the location.
Continental currently employs approximately 800 people locally, and is expected to employ 1,600 people when expansions are complete. A list of current job openings at the Sumter location can be found on the corporation’s website here.