Continental reiterated its optimism about the India growth story and announced its intent to double the company’s revenues in the country by 2016. In a press conference, Continental’s Automotive Group heads focused on its operations plans for India and innovations for the market that demonstrate the company’s commitment to be a strong local partner to the Indian automotive industry. Continental also announced the expansion of its existing 7,152 square metres facility in Manesar to 15,027 square metres. In Manesar, Continental is producing instrument clusters for passenger vehicles and two wheelers, sensors for powertrain and chassis including knock sensors, speed sensors for engine and transmission. The expansion was necessary because of the current and future needs of the various businesses based in Manesar.
In order to achieve its business goal of above-average profitable growth in the key Asian hubs including India, Continental continues to increase its footprint by establishing new plants, increasing headcount and building engineering expertise in Asia and India. Committing to its “local for local” concept, the company has been actively localizing its entire value chain in the country, from business development to R&D, from purchasing to production. Continental has established itself as a strong partner for OEMs in India, offering robust technology customized for the Indian market, at an affordable cost.
Globally, Continental has recently confirmed the sales forecast of more than €32.5 billion for fiscal 2012 that it raised after the first half of the year, despite increasing uncertainty in the sales markets, particularly in Europe, and a global slowdown in economic growth. In the first nine months of this year, Continental increased its sales by 9.1% year-on-year to €24.6 billion. EBIT rose by €437 million or 22.8% year-on-year to €2.4 billion in the same period.
Through its three Automotive Group divisions; Chassis & Safety, Powertrain and Interior and the Rubber Group, comprising Continental Tires and ContiTech, Continental offers a comprehensive and relevant product portfolio for the local market.
Chassis & Safety: Zero Fatalities
India has been recording one of the highest numbers of fatalities in road accidents worldwide. Yet, safety products are often considered a “premium feature” in Indian cars.
Continental’s Chassis & Safety division stresses on delivering affordable safety solutions for the local market. An example for passive safety is theSafety Platform for Efficient & Economical Design (SPEED): SPEED is an airbag control unit of modular design. The multi-level concept meets the demands of all global markets and allows even entry-level models to be fitted with a high-performance airbag system. When it comes to active safety, ABS should be standard, it has to be smaller and lighter, yet less expensive. These were the challenges that had to be met in developing a new ABS for the mature markets. Smaller vehicles with less installation space made the reduction in size necessary, while lower engine outputs and lower overall vehicle weights enabled the ABS to be downsized. The MK 100® currently in development is far smaller and lighter than its MK 70 predecessor. India is one of the key target markets in the future for these technologies.
India plays an important role in the growth strategy of the Chassis & Safety division. The expansion activities in Manesar underline Continental´s intention to add even more value to driving safety for the Indian automotive industry and end consumers. With its “Vision Zero” Chassis & Safety division is convinced that innovative technologies will make it possible to one day drive a car without any accidents – in all vehicle categories and markets of this world.
“Chassis & Safety has introduced a host of advanced safety systems and components in India, including the first ever Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for two wheelers in the country. We are absolutely convinced we have the right products in our portfolio to support two wheeler ABS for this market. With our Indian operations, we support the growing domestic OEM’s as well as the worldwide OEM’s with their production locations in India” said Dr. Ralf Cramer, President of the Chassis & Safety Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG.
Powertrain: Clean Power
Led by the vision “Clean Power” and leveraging its comprehensive portfolio of solutions for gasoline, diesel and alternative fuels, the Powertrain division is dedicated to enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing emission. Continental is concentrating on developing and
manufacturing engine management systems for fuel efficient engines to meet the growing demands of tighter emissions regulations and for a greener future. For example: diesel high pressure pumps, piezoelectric common rail diesel injectors, turbochargers, fuel supply
modules and sensors and actuators.
In line with its roadmap to progressively localize across the value chain and to satisfy
increased customer demand, Continental recently inaugurated new product lines for fuel rail assemblies and fuel pumps at its Pune facility and set up a test & validation lab for fuel supply products at its Bangalore development centre. The Bangalore lab houses state of the art explosion-proof test equipment that meets the most stringent safety norms. Continental India also inaugurated its diesel pump & injector test and validation center in Bangalore this year.
“Our engineering team in Bangalore not only undertakes local development projects but also interfaces with our global engineering teams for application engineering and development of
our global automotive projects,” said José Avila , Head of the Powertrain Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG.
Interior: Always On
The Interior division, committed to its vision “Always On”, is responsible for optimization of the information management in vehicles. It provides a comprehensive product portfolio in the fields of instrumentation, driver Human Machine Interface (HMI), body & security electronics, infotainment and connectivity solutions as well as products for commercial vehicles and the aftermarket, to help achieve intelligent communication between drivers and vehicles, vehicles and vehicles, and vehicles and the surrounding environment.
Amongst its Body & Security products specially customized for India are the
Basic Function Controller (BFC), start stop button, immobilizers and remote keyless entry systems. In the interior electronics segment, Continental recently announced the Indian
version of its concept, Simplify your Drive (SyD). SyD enables the driver to enjoy the full benefits of the vehicle’s functions in an easy and intuitive way and creates the opportunity to experience multiple cars at the cost of one, at the press of a button. The instrument clusters
and control panels offered by Continental have been amongst market leaders in India for
many years now. In the commercial vehicle and aftermarket business unit, Continental has achieved a hundred percent localization in India, including product development, design, and manufacturing (software & hardware) for commercial vehicles and two wheelers. Within Continental, India has the highest sales volume for two wheeler clusters.
“Our talented engineers in India customize advanced technologies for the local market making
it possible for us to offer them to our customers at an affordable price,” said Mr. Helmut
Matschi, Member of the Continental Executive Board and President of Interior Division.
With sales of €30.5 billion in 2011, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 170,000 employees in 46 countries.
The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approximately €6.5 billion in 2011, 33,000 employees), Powertrain (sales of approximately €5.8 billion in 2011, 31,000 employees) and Interior (sales of approximately €6.1 billion in 2011, 32,000 employees) achieved sales of approximately €18.5 billion in 2011. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner of the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future, in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety, environmental responsibility and cost-efficiency.