- Investment of 35 million US-Dollar in Fletcher, North Carolina, adds 88,000 square feet of production and warehouse space and will create new jobs
- Increasing demand in Electric Parking Brakes as the driving force
International automotive supplier Continental celebrated in the end of March the 8,200 square meter expansion of its manufacturing facility located in Fletcher, North Carolina, USA. The 35 million US-Dollar investment added production and warehouse space, new manufacturing infrastructure as well as new equipment for machining and assembly, and will create approximately 40 new jobs in the state. The goal is to increase the production capacity and the production of Electric Parking Brakes (EPB) locally.
“I am very delighted about the plant expansion. The driving force behind this is the worldwide increasing demand in Electric Parking Brakes. The investment also demonstrates our commitment to exploring the US market for sustainable growth in the future and to be present for our customers locally”, said Matthias Matic, head of the Hydraulic Brake Systems business unit of Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division.
Electric Parking Brakes are gaining significant ground against traditional braking systems and will be fitted to an increasing range of vehicle models and classes within the next few years. The advantage of Electric Parking Brakes is that they perform various assistance functions in conjunction with electronic brake systems to add safety and convenience. Moreover, they operate at the press of a button. Vehicle manufacturers also enjoy greater flexibility in designing interiors because there is no more hand-brake lever to protrude into the passenger compartment.
“Thanks to the growing demand for brake calipers and the overall economic turnaround in North America, we have nearly tripled our regional production at the Fletcher facility over the past three years”, said Samir Salman, Chief Executive Officer for Continental North America. “This investment demonstrates Continental’s commitment to deliver quality products to our customers and to the future growth of the automotive industry.”
A result of the rapid growth in business is in parallel an increase in employment opportunities: More than 200 new employees were hired in the last three years in Fletcher. The plant is part of the Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit of Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division and has become a strong contributor in the company’s strategy to further develop foundation brake and EPB product segments in the region. The plant has been located in Fletcher for more than 16 years and currently employs more than 600 employees.
With sales of around €33.3 billion in 2013, Continental is one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers. As a provider of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs around 178,000 people in 49 countries.
The Automotive Group with its three divisions Chassis & Safety (sales of approx. €7.3 billion in 2013, roughly 36.500 employees), Powertrain (sales of approx. €6.3 billion in 2013, roughly 32,400 employees) and Interior (sales of approx. €6.6 billion in 2013, roughly 34,400 employees) achieved sales of approximately €20 billion in 2013. The Automotive Group is present in more than 170 locations worldwide. As a partner to the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, it develops and produces innovative products and systems for a modern automotive future in which cars provide individual mobility and driving pleasure consistent with driving safety, environmental responsibility, and cost-efficiency.
The Chassis & Safety division develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, air bag electronics and sensors, washer systems, and electronic air suspension systems. Its core competence is the integration of active and passive driving safety into ContiGuard. The Powertrain division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for vehicle powertrains. The comprehensive range of products includes gasoline and diesel injection systems, engine management and transmission control, including sensors and actuators, as well as fuel supply systems, and components and systems for hybrid and electric drives. Information management is at the very heart of the Interior division, which provides a range of products that includes instrument clusters and multifunctional displays, control units, electronic car- entry systems, tire-monitoring systems, radios, multimedia and navigation systems, climate control systems, telematics solutions and cockpit.
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