Upgrades to Continental Mabor factory mean more jobs, increased exports.

The EU-funded “Continental Mabor: Route 17” project is an investment to expand and upgrade the company’s Lousado, Portugal plant to produce ultra-high performance tyres. The aim is to increase the plant’s production capacity and benefit the Norte region through an increase in exports and jobs.

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To help ensure the competitiveness of the Continental Mabor tyre company, this project is investing in new technologies and innovative processes for the manufacturing of high-added value, Ultra High Performance (UHP) tyres. 

Under the project, the existing Continental Mabor facilities and tyre manufacturing processes are to be converted and expanded. As a result the Vila Nova de Famalicão (Lousado) plant will have an increase in capacity to produce more complex, high performance products.

Increased capacity and efficiency 

With the tyre market becoming increasingly competitive, this project is taking a proactive approach to positioning Continental Mabor as a market leader in the production of next-generation tyres. With Continental seeing steady annual growth of around 25 % in UHP sales, it made the decision to actively invest in the sector. 

The investments falling under this project include construction to expand the current factory by over 22 000 m2. Several new industrial buildings are to be built along with the acquisition of various equipment and machinery. To ensure the new facility is environmentally friendly, many of the acquisitions involve the purchase of energy-efficient equipment. Energy efficiency for some manufacturing stages is expected to increase by up to 25 %.  

All of these capacity-building upgrades directly support the company’s ongoing objective of increasing its annual production capacity of UHP tyres from 4.5 to 6 million. As a result of these upgrades and the high-level of automation they offer, the factory’s overall production capability is expected to rise to 17 million tyres per year, most being low rolling resistant UHP and extra-large tyres.

In addition to the facility upgrades, new materials and processes for manufacturing UHP tyres are to be adopted. In line with this aim the plant’s design aims to integrate all workflows and product processing stations.  

More jobs, bigger exports

By securing the company’s market position, the project aims to bring economic benefits to Portugal’s Norte region. It is estimated that 97 direct jobs and 100 indirect jobs will be created. All of the tyres are to be exported. 

Continental Mabor is the result of a joint venture between Aktiengesellschaft and Mabor – Manufactura Nacional da Borracha S.A. Since 1990, the company has been owned by the Continental Group with 100 % participation of Continental Global Holding NBV. 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Continental Mabor: Route 17” is EUR 82 936 636, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 15 438 136 through the “Thematic Factors of Competitiveness” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the “Innovation and renewal of the business model and of the specialisation pattern” priority.

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