Continental builds new plant for ADAS systems in Texas, US

Feb 10, 2020   Tier Suppliers

Continental announced the construction of a new plant in New Braunfels in the US state of Texas. The purpose of the new building is to expand its capacity for the production of radar sensors.

"Advanced driver assistance systems save lives. Continental is one of the world’s market leaders in this area. We are benefiting from steadily increasing fitment rates in new vehicles. And in the future, too, we are anticipating major growth opportunities," explained Frank Jourdan, member of the Continental Executive Board responsible for the business area 'Autonomous Mobility and Safety', the strategic importance for Continental.

"Over the next five years, we are planning further investments in the high triple-digit million Euro range in the areas of assisted and automated driving. The capacity expansion in New Braunfels is part of our growth strategy. Between 2015 and 2019, sales more than doubled and we can see good opportunities to expand our market position even further in the future," explained Jourdan.

For the construction of the new plant in New Braunfels, Texas Continental plans to invest about €100 million ($111 million) over the next three years. At the 20.000 square metre site advanced driver assistance systems will be manufactured. The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for mid-2020, before the scheduled production of radar sensors is planned to start in 2021. This will add another 130 new jobs in the region in addition to the 450 jobs already existing in development and production of driver assistance systems. These figures do not include further expansion stages of the new plant. To date, Continental produces radar sensors in Seguin, about 25 kilometres from New Braunfels.

Sensors, software and intelligent connectivity form the basis of advanced driver assistance systems. The technology company Continental already began its research on these systems over 20 years ago. Over the past five years alone, the company has spent a high three-digit million Euro amount on this worldwide.

Continental operates its own development centres and production sites in the major regions of Europe, America and Asia enabling it to offer customised solutions to its customers. "Customer proximity in the individual regions is of paramount importance to us. The new plant in New Braunfels will provide us with a state-of-the-art production facility for our high-tech products, enabling us to continue our growth strategy," said Karl Haupt, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit.

Continental’s customers include many national and international manufacturers as well as all mass manufacturers worldwide. The technology company continues to expect sales in this area to exceed €2 billion ($2.22 billion) for the past fiscal year 2019. The outlook for the future is also very promising for further growth. In 2017 and 2018 respectively, for example, Continental secured new orders with a total value of around €3 billion ($3.33 billion).

American car manufacturers use Continental's radar sensors for technologies such as emergency brake assist and adaptive cruise control. Technologies tailored specifically to the US market, such as blind-spot monitoring for passenger cars with trailers (Trailer Length Detection and Trailer Merge Assist), which first went into series production in 2018 in the Dodge Ram 1500, are also based on radar sensors. In 2019, Continental received an FCA Supplier of the Year Award for this technology in the Innovation category.

In addition to New Braunfels, Continental is also represented in the USA by other locations for advanced driver assistance systems: These include a development site in Auburn Hills near Detroit and in Santa Barbara, California, where the company develops Lidar technologies.

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