Continental Tire opens new HQ for the Americas

Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, and Brian Carnes, Vice Chair of Lancaster County council, read a proclamation declaring Continental Tire Day.
Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas, and Brian Carnes, Vice Chair of Lancaster County council, read a proclamation declaring Continental Tire Day.

In Lancaster County, South Carolina, March 21 will now be known as Continental Tires of The Americas Day. Brian Carnes, Vice Chair of Lancaster County council makes the proclamation during the official grand opening of Continental Tire the Americas’ new headquarters in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

The modern 90,000 square foot building, which sits on 33 acres in northern Lancaster County, has capacity for 350 employees and is designed and built for future expansion potential.

“It feels like Christmas and my birthday all on the same day,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas.

“Since we moved to South Carolina, we have received unwavering support from Lancaster County and the State of South Carolina. In fact, this consistent support for Continental is the reason why we have expanded our footprint.”

Since moving to South Carolina in 2009, Continental has invested more than US$800 million in its facilities throughout the state, employing more than 2,000 people. Alongside numerous businesses, the new HQ2 will be home to Continental’s earthmoving tire business, which was relaunched in 2016.

“The new HQ in Fort Mill solidifies our commitment to the earthmover and construction businesses,” said Matt Futrelle, Head of Global Business Field Earthmoving.

“People are a top priority for our strategy and this location gives us an outstanding talent base to pull from as well as room to grow.  Many of our Specialty Tire Americas management and operations team are excited to operate from the new headquarters.”

Planned with purpose

To build the new three-storey headquarters, Continental invited its employees to provide input on every aspect of the facility, from the selection of the architect to the details of the colours and furniture.

The result is a building that blends into its natural landscape. The design allows natural light to flood the interior year-round. Collaborative spaces of various sizes are located on all three levels, as well as offering numerous quiet areas for focused work.

“Our new facility is so much more than a typical office with desks and meeting rooms,” Etzel said. “In the past, the office was a place you had to come to. Our objective for this building was to create a workplace destination that you want to come to.”

Sustainable vision

The sustainability features incorporated into the building will allow Continental Tire to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

The open office layout incorporates natural materials installed by local artisans. The building utilizes LED lighting for cost savings and contains recycled content carpet tiles and low VOC paint.

The parking area is optimized for a decreased heat signature and includes 10 EV charging stations.

“One of the things that I’m really proud of is our sustainability features,” said Tim Rogers, former CFO of Americas.

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A total of 840 solar panels are located on the roof and in the parking area, which can generate up to 25 per cent of the building’s energy consumption. Rainwater harvesting will be utilized for irrigation of the plantings and lawn area.

“We do have huge opportunity to move towards net zero energy use for the entire building,” Rogers said.

During construction, more than 135,000 works hours were invested with zero accidents. Preparing the site also required the removal of 12 million pounds of rock.

“I want to personally recognize the countless hours by all of the trades who made this vision a reality,” Etzel said.