Continental recently inaugurated its greenfield plant in Pune, India, manufacturing surface solutions materials mainly for the Indian automotive and two-wheeler market. With investments totalling about ₹200 crore (more than €20 million) covering facilities and machinery, the company will produce premium surface materials for car interiors, including electric vehicles, as well as two-wheeler seats, catering primarily to the domestic market and exports.
Addressing at the inauguration ceremony, Philip Nelles, Member – Executive Board, Continental & Head, ContiTech, expounded, “Growing our business in the Asia-Pacific region is one of our main strategic pillars. Amongst others, India will play a major role to strive for our goal. That’s why we continue to invest into our Indian locations. Thus, we will remain close to our customers maximising value creation.”
Keeping up with its sustainability focus, Dr Dirk Leiss, Head - Surface Solutions, Continental, emphasied, “Premium vehicle interiors are increasingly becoming important for car users. Our surface material provides both, luxury and comfort, improving the overall driving experience.” The new location is the company’s 16th surface solutions plant globally, producing well-known surface materials like Acella Eco used by worldwide top car manufacturers and automotive brands. Dr Leiss added, “Our surface solutions come with the guarantee of state-of-the-art quality and heritage of more than 300 years in the industry.”
Moving further, Prashanth Doreswamy, President & CEO, Continental India, explained, “Continental has been growing steadily in the Indian market. We have now invested in Pune, a significant and long-established hub for the automotive industry, and we aim to be our customers’ first partner of choice for surface solutions. With this, we reaffirm our commitment to the local market, aligned to our ‘in the market, for the market’ philosophy.”
Sustainability is a key driver
The 149,000 square feet (approx. 14,000 square meters) manufacturing facility, with an initial annual capacity of five million square meters of surface material can be scaled up to 10 million square meters. The new surface solutions plant in Pune will primarily manufacture Acella Eco and Acella Lux material, which add aesthetic value to vehicle interiors. Eco-friendly foam foil Yorn and Yorn Light will also be produced in the near future.
During the inauguration ceremony, Landry Tchapda, Head - Surface Solutions Plant Management, Continental, explained, “The new plant features best-in-class energy efficiency standards, sustainable production processes, an ergonomic work environment, 100 % sewage and wastewater treatment as well, exhaust air treatment of all processes, and use of energy from renewable source.”
Further, Tchapda also mentioned, “With skilled workforce and cutting-edge technology at our disposal, our production is world-class, to cater to the requirements of our customers. In addition to production, storage, logistics, purchasing, and sales, we have also scheduled resources and capacities for laboratories, design and product development. India is a promising market to grow. So, we expand our operations at a rapid pace. Our innovative surface solutions are available for a variety of car interior and two-wheeler applications and we strive to be making us the market leader in near future.”