German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Continental India’s ABS plant in Manesar

by Mayank Dhingra 04 Nov 2019

On her recent visit to India to undertake a series of discussions with the Indian government and also co-chair the fifth inter-governmental consultations (IGC) along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, German Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, together with a German delegation, visited automotive component major Continental’s Manesar facility, near Gurugaon, on Saturday, November 2 at the end of her visit.

The visit to the 11,000 square metres facility in the IMT industrial area of Manesar included a tour of the company’s safety technologies that are manufactured in India, followed by a visual overview of the company’s growth in India, the substantial contribution to Continental’s global R&D efforts and sustainability initiatives.

Continental’s Manesar plant is dedicated to the production of hydraulic brake systems (HBS) components at this plant, with parts such as brake boosters, callipers and brake drums being supplied to all key passenger vehicle and two-wheeler OEMs. These products contribute to the Vision Zero: Zero Fatalities, Zero Injuries, Zero Crashes – a global commitment of the technology giant.

The manufacturing facility also houses a R&D lab that caters to global and regional R&D requirements for Continental’s brake systems business. The delegation toured the production area of both hydraulic and electronic brake systems’ clean room and interacted with the operations associates.

According to Prashanth Doreswamy, Country Head, Continental India, “It was a great opportunity for Continental India to showcase some of our key technologies, reaffirm our commitment to localisation, and equally important, highlight our engineering capabilities to the Chancellor”.

Showcasing India R&D for mobility across the world
Another key showcase to the delegation was an overview of Continental India’s contribution to the global mobility market, through its in-house R&D centre christened Technical Center India (TCI). The centre, which employs over 4,000 engineers, works on global projects, and Continental claims, has achieved increasing levels of competency in several niche areas. According to the company, it houses the largest pool of engineers working on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), including autonomous driving technologies.

Interestingly, at the recently concluded IAA 2019 in Frankfurt, Chancellor Merkel was one of the high-profile visitors who took a ride in the autonomous shuttle ‘Cube, demonstrated by Continental together with the French company EasyMile. TCI has contributed significantly towards this project, specifically on Camera, Radar and Lidar technologies. 

Additionally, Continental India’s contribution towards the global mobility ecosystem was also covered in the visual showcase. This included ‘Software Academy’, a key learning initiative of Continental aimed at skilling and re-skilling of workforce, to meet the changing requirements of the automotive industry of the future. The software academy, headquartered in India, focuses on topics such as Agile Development, Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence.

Continental India banks on R&D and localisation
Continental says it is investing in extensive R&D and localisation of technologies for the future. Apart from the plant in Gurugram, where two new production lines were added recently to meet requirements of ABS and ESC, the company recently announced two new greenfield projects in Pune. It also manufacturers its innovative miniMAB single-channel ABS for two-wheelers between 125-250cc engine capacity at the Manesar plant and is betting big on high volumes growth from the same.