13 December 2012

Continental invests in new production line in Kaluga, Russia

- Continental considers Russia a focus market of powertrain technology 
- New manufacturing line for up to 500,000 fuel supply units per year 

Kaluga, Russia – 13 December 2012 - Continental, the international automotive supplier, considers Russia a focus market of powertrain technology. By opening a new manufacturing line at its Kaluga plant (200 km South of Moscow) the company is underlining its growth plans. Once fully operative, this highly automated, state-of-the art production line can deliver up to 500,000 fuel supply units (FSUs) per year. Typically FSUs are mounted inside a vehicle’s fuel tank where they combine a number of functions in a single compact unit, which comprises electronics and mechanical components. 

José Avila, Head of the Powertrain Division and Member of the Continental AG Executive Board, said: “Russia is very important for our powertrain activities. That is why we are now preparing to manufacture yet another Continental product locally at a later stage. So fuel supply units will definitely not be the last step within our long-term strategy.” 

The FSUs have been produced at Kaluga since November 2012. They were previously imported to Russia from other markets. Christian Kögl, Head of Continental Powertrain Russia and CEO of Continental Automotive Systems RUS, said: “Our new manufacturing line is our response to the particularly strong demand for high quality automobile components in Russia. Electronics and mechatronics are essential for reliable vehicle technology that is rich in function.” 

As of end of November 229 employees work at the Kaluga site for the Automotive Group. They manufacture electronic products, such as immobilizers or printed circuit boards for instrument clusters. As well as expanding the production of FSUs in Kaluga, Continental Powertrain is investing in new production facilities for engine control units, with start of production scheduled for 2014. The manufacturing area is close to the assembly plants of the Automobile Cluster in Kaluga, where VW, Volvo Truck, and PSA are located. 

Our confidence in this growing market has led us to increase the scope of local manufacturing. The new line is as modern as it is tailored to the market’s specific requirements”, Kögl said. Dimitriy Firsov, Sales Director Russia of the Powertrain Business Units Fuel Supply and Sensors & Actuators explained the line’s benefits in more detail: “The Fuel Supply Unit line facilitates flexible production. We can customize the appropriate equipment to meet OEM wishes fast and easily. At the same time the line design ensures the highest quality standards. As Fuel Supply Units are a cornerstone of vehicle reliability, we use automated quality gates for in-line testing. So by the time the delivery unit reaches the end of the line, its functionality has been fully tested.” Among the new products to be manufactured at Kaluga are gasoline and diesel FSUs with or without heater tube. 

At the end of 2013, a new Continental tire plant with an annual capacity of four million tires is scheduled to open for business (representing an investment of around €240 million and creating some 400 jobs). At the same time, the ContiTech Division is investing approximately €13 million in a new plant for the production of air-conditioning and power steering lines in Kaluga, with start of production also slated for the end of 2013. By the end of 2012 there will be about 400 Continental employees at the Kaluga location. 

Source: Continental