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Continental Motors to expand dramatically

Continental Motors will dramatically expand its presence in Mobile, Alabama, with a new $70 million manufacturing center and corporate headquarters.

"To remain competitive, we have to advance faster," Continental CEO Rhett Ross said. "If we do this well, we'll come out at the top of our industry."

The company plans to break ground on the new facility this year, finish construction next year, and be fully operational in 2019.

Ross said the investment will enable the company to accelerate research and development as well as new products.

"We see that different power systems are going to be necessary," he said. "You'll see much more electrified aircraft. This increases our flexibility for new designs."

Continental CEO Rhett RossContinental has about 400 employees in the Mobile area and that number isn't expected to change as a result of the new facility.

Continental was founded in 1904 and moved into aviation in 1927. Its engines power a great deal of the piston general aviation fleet. The company has a full line of gasoline and diesel aircraft engines.

Continental was acquired six years ago by a AVIC, a Chinese holding company, and Ross said that the current owners enabled the company's expansion.

"China represents the future market for high-volume growth," he said.

Dave Hirschman
Dave Hirschman
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Aviation Industry

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