International automotive supplier Continental will launch a major expansion of its manufacturing facility in Burke County, creating 160 new jobs over the next five years. The company will invest more than $40 million at its Morganton operations.

“It’s encouraging when a major manufacturer decides to keep expanding right here in North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “I’m confident that Continental will find the skilled workers they need to fill these new jobs and put more money in the pockets of people in Burke and neighboring counties.”

Continental, with North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, is one of the top five automotive suppliers worldwide. The company’s Morganton facility produces the most progressive advanced brake engineering for all classes of vehicles, from compact cars to light trucks. The company currently employs more than 400 people in Morganton.

Continental will hire all levels of advanced manufacturing positions from machine operators to skilled maintenance workers to support the expansion of the company. Salaries will vary by position, with a total annual payroll impact of more than $5 million.

“The Morganton Plant has a proven record for producing the current brake system and is a natural fit for expansion to meet the production needs of our newest product,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental, North America. “Thanks to the generous support of the state and local officials, we are pleased to make an investment that plans to expand production of our latest innovative safety technology.”

Continental’s expansion in Burke County will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive up to $1,604,700 in total reimbursements. Payments will occur in annual installments over 12 years pending verification by N.C. Commerce and N.C. Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIGs reimburse new and expanding companies a portion of the newly created tax-base while still increasing the overall revenue benefit to the state of North Carolina.