A multi-national company is celebrating the completion of its one-thousand acre plant in Mississippi. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Mississippi state and local elected leaders joined Continental Tire officials and their 250 employees for the grand opening of its state-of-the-art plant in Hinds County.
Christian Koetz heads the Tire Division in Germany where the company is based. He says the company will produce tires for large trucks and buses for the U.S. market. Koetz says they'll be running tests first.
"We will start producing serial tires by the beginning of next year so our machinery is basically installed. We are doing what call test tire production," said Koetz.
It took 3 1/2 years to get to this point. Construction began in 2016, two miles outside of Clinton. Governor Phil Bryant says Mississippi faced stiff competition the previous year, when talks with the company began. He says more than 40 states and two countries wanted the plant. Bryant says it was critical the legislature agreed to borrow $263 million for incentives.
"When you're dealing with a company and leaders of a world class company like Continental they've got know your word means something. See other companies are looking and watching. Can Mississippi get this done and if they can will they stand by what they said. Can they achieve this," said Bryant.
The incentives worked says Christian Koetz.
"Mississippi offered the greatest package so it's obviously the infrastructure. It's the support. It's the partnership. It's the availability of qualified people," said Koetz.
The plant is a $1.4 billion investment for Continental and they plan to hire 2,500 people by 2028.