Continental aims to outpace market, eyes new greenfield facility
The company has spent 1,000 crore to set up a new tech centre to contribute to global projects.
Having grown at 2.5 times the market rate, Hannover-based automotive component major Continental AG is planning to outpace the market in the coming years. To cater to its growth aspirations and offer high tech products, the company is planning to set up a new greenfield facility in the coming 12-15 months which will help in local value addition of some premium products that the company offers in India.
The new plant will be its eighth factory in India. Multiple locations are being scouted across regions to build the facility which will cater to the growing demand for autonomous, safe and small mobility businesses.
Additionally, as part of its plan to invest almost 11 percent of its revenue on research and development (R&D), the company has inaugurated its new tech centre in Bengaluru with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore. The newly inaugurated tech centre will help in curating the localised solution and contributing to global projects.
The new campus for Continental’s Technical Center India (TCI) can accommodate over 6,500 employees. The new campus will consolidate the rapidly growing engineering competencies and teams in India, catering to automotive R&D requirements for local and global markets.
Prashanth Doreswamy, President and CEO, of Continental India told Autocar Professional that the company is eyeing additional greenfield locations in its core domains as it seeks to step up its localisation drive across manufacturing plants. “Localisation is very important in India as it is very value-driven and finding substitutes for expensive imports generates value that we bring to various OEMs and hence it is extremely critical to the success of our business,” he said.
As part of its overall localisation strategy, the company recently inaugurated a new plant in Pune for its surface solutions business where it has invested more than Rs 200 crore.
As part of its vision to make mobility affordable, Continental is looking to be the agent of change as part of its strategy to expand its basket of offerings.
"We believe in growing at a faster rate than the growth in the market. In the last four years, Continental has almost grown 2.5 times the market. While the Indian market is growing at about eight percent we have been growing at about 20 percent,” he said.
Doreswamy added that as India inches closer to greater autonomous driving capabilities and migration to larger spec vehicles there is tremendous potential to introduce technologies from aerospace into the automotive sector and democratic technology by increasing the localisation content and reduce the cost and add more safety for the customer"
Software that forms more than 30 percent of the content of the vehicle along with chips and sensors is likely to go up to 40 percent in the next two years as India embarks on increasing vehicle safety by adding ADAS features not just for passenger cars, but even two-wheelers, added Latha Chembrakalam, Head of Technical Center India, Continental Automotive. “Such an increase in software-defined vehicles will give passenger car and two-wheeler customers additional safety and convenience features and vehicle experiences,” she added.
The tech centre in India revolves around developing software for radar and cameras aiding several driver assistance features and functions such as the surround view system, adaptive cruise control, emergency brake assist and lane change assist, among others.
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