Continental opens new brake systems’ R&D facility in Manesar

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Aug 2018

Above (L-R): Karl-Friedrich Woersdoerfer, VP (Product Development, BU Hydraulic Brake Systems); Matthias Matic, EVP, Hydraulic Brake Systems; Dr Jasper Wieck, Chargé d’Affaires of the German Embassy; Krishan Kohli, Head of BU Vehicle Dynamics, India; Prashanth Doreswamy, Head Continental India; and Thomas Laudes, Head of Continental Automotive Brake Systems & Head of Business Unit Hydraulic Brake Systems ​India.

Technology major Continental, which celebrates 10 years of local production in India, has inaugurated a new facility for its R&D center in Gurgaon. The new facility, located within its existing Gurgaon Plant premises, will cater to global and regional R&D requirements for its brake systems businesses.

The new facility is aligned to the company’s strategy of increasing its R&D footprint in India. Currently the capabilities of the R&D center at Gurgaon include design and testing for brake systems, and offshore engineering activities for the Continental’s Italy and Japan regions. The company also operates a full-fledged R&D center – Continental Technical Center India (TCI) – in Bangalore, catering to Continental’s entire automotive business, globally.

“As a technology company, it is Continental’s priority to invest in the technologies of tomorrow. India is an important R&D hub for Continental, and we plan to increase our R&D footprint in the country. With focused R&D, innovations and ongoing improvement of our components and systems, both at this new center dedicated to brake systems and at TCI, India’s contribution to Vision Zero – a future with zero accidents – will be significant,” said Prashanth Doreswamy, Head of Continental India and managing director, Continental Automotive India.

Thomas Laudes, managing director, Continental Automotive Brake Systems (India), who also heads the Hydraulic Brakes business in India, said: “We are glad to make this investment to broaden the scope of R&D and further strengthen existing capabilities at this location. At Continental Gurgaon, we manufacture and assemble a series of products that enhance safety in vehicles at various levels. Now, with a full-fledged R&D Center, we are enhancing the added value to the Corporation by driving innovation.”

According to Krishan Kohli, head of the Vehicle Dynamics business in India, “With a range of safety technologies that address current legislative requirements and are future-oriented, Continental is in a position of strength in the market. This new R&D center houses the Vehicle Dynamics test labs and will augment our R&D and engineering presence in India. We are excited to be part of this growth.”

The 147-year-old German conglomerate has been present in India for close to 50 years, through technology partnerships (Continental Tires since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. Continental Automotive Brake Systems (India) was originally a JV of Continental with Rico, which started in 2007. The business became a 100 percent subsidiary of Continental in 2012.

Today the technology company operates across India – with over 8,000 employees across 15 locations, including eight plants that cater to the Indian market, and a Technical Center that supports global R&D. On the occasion of its recent 10th anniversary celebration, Continental had announced investments in the country, on a high three-digit crore rupees level within the next two years in India, and a plan to increase headcount to 10,000 in the same period.

Also read: Continental completes a decade in India, looks to expand capacity and headcount