Mumbai, India, November 29, 2012: Global automotive supplier Continental has reiterated its optimism about the India growth story and announced its intent to double the company’s revenues in the country by 2016. Reaffirming the significance of India’s automotive market, Continental’s Executive Board met in Mumbai today. Clearly, India has emerged as a strong growth hub for Continental in Asia.
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. They also announced the doubling of the existing facility in Manesar to 15,027 square metres to meet growing demand. This plant makes instrument clusters for passenger cars and two-wheelers, sensors for powertrain and chassis including knock sensors, speed sensors for engine and transmission.
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 localising its entire value chain in the country, from business development to R&D, from purchasing to production.
In recent years, Continental has established itself as a strong partner for OEMs in India, offering robust technology customised for the Indian market, at an affordable cost. Through its three Automotive Group divisions – Chassis & Safety, Powertrain and Interior and the Rubber Group, comprising Continental Tires and ContiTech – the supplier offers a comprehensive and relevant product portfolio for the local market.
Globally, Continental has recently confirmed the sales forecast of more than €32.5 billion (Rs 233,122 crore) 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 percent YoY to €24.6 billion (Rs 176,455 crore). EBIT rose by €437 million or 22.8 percent year-on-year to €2.4 billion (Rs 17,215 crore) in the same period.
Chassis & Safety division
Continental is targeting India to drive sales of its safety products, primarily due to the fact that the country records among the highest numbers of fatalities in road accidents worldwide. The Chassis & Safety division, which works to the ‘Safety for Everyone’ theme, develops affordable safety solutions for the local market. An example for passive safety is the Safety 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. On the active safety front, while ABS should be standard, it has to be smaller and lighter, yet less expensive. 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.
“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 OEMs’ as well as the worldwide OEMs 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.
Leveraging its comprehensive portfolio of solutions for petrol, 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 localise 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 and 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 and injector test and validation centre 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.
The Interior division, which is responsible for optimisation of the information management in vehicles, provides a comprehensive product portfolio in the fields of instrumentation, driver Human Machine Interface (HMI), body and 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.
Among its Body and Security products specially customised for India are the Basic Function Controller (BFC), start-stop button, immobilisers 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 among market leaders in India for many years now. In the CV and aftermarket business unit, Continental has achieved 100 percent localisation 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 customise advanced technologies for the local market, making it possible for us to offer them to our customers at an affordable price,” said Helmut Matschi, Member of the Continental Executive Board and president of the Interior Division.
Photograph (top): L-R: Claude d'Gama Rose, MD, Continental Automotive Components (India); Helmut Matschi, Member of the Continental Executive Board and president of Interior Division; Dr Ralf Cramer, president of the Chassis & Safety Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG; José Avila , Head of the Powertrain Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG