Continental Automotive focuses on localization to expand its business in India

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Continental sees huge growth happening like what happened in China two years ago, says Doreswamy

Continental sees huge growth happening like what happened in China two years ago, says Doreswamy

According to Chairman and CEO Prashanth Doreswamy, Continental Automotive India Private Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiary of Continental AG in Germany, is focusing on localization to grow its business.

“Localization is very important in India because it’s a very value driven market because importing everything is very expensive,” he said. “The biggest challenge for us is to make our products affordable. That’s why localization is very important to us,” he said. The Hindu.

“At that time, he [business volume in India] could be X but Continental sees huge growth happening like what happened in China two years ago,” Doreswamy said.

“Keeping this in mind, Continental continues to invest in India as the addition of new technologies brings new capabilities or even localization.”

“Our vision is to make mobility affordable and to be part of the market evolution. We believe in growing faster than market growth. Over the past four years, Continental has almost increased the market by 2.5 times. While the Indian market is growing by around 8%, we are growing by around 20%,” he said.

The company recently inaugurated a new factory in Pune for its surface solutions business where it has invested over ₹200 crore.

This company manufactures seat, door trim and dashboard applications that are an alternative to leather and at a much lower cost without losing its look or feel.

“Our products are manufactured according to the latest global technological standards from Continental and thus meet current and future global automotive specifications, for example with regard to abrasion, lightfastness and vehicle emissions. But we will also manufacture our Yorn and Yorn Light eco-friendly foam sheets in Pune in the future,” said Landry Tchapda, Business Area and Factory, Continental Surface Solutions India.

“Our main goal is to replace genuine leather in cars because many animals have to be killed and our goal is to reduce that number,” he said.

Besides leather, he said, the company has other applications such as plastics, slush technologies, fabrics.

“This is the market we are interested in. Currently we are targeting the premium segment as we see enough opportunities. We look at current market trends, which gives us confidence that we will succeed in the market,” he added. According to Mr. Doreswamy, growth in India is driven by government regulations being enforced “which is a success story for us”.

He said that India being a changing market, the company sees some of the assisted functions coming here. “That’s what we’re working on for the Indian market in terms of assisted functions.” he said.

Continental India has over 8,000 employees in India at 7 plants and 13 locations. Its Technology Center in Bengaluru, with over 4,000 software engineers, supports all of its product lines and business areas locally and even product developments for the global enterprise.

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