© Continental Electronics Production | August 30, 2016

Continental expands ADAS business presence in Asia

Asia remains the number one growth market for the automotive industry – and the numbers are impressive.
Over 50 percent of all vehicles produced worldwide come from Asian car manufacturers and approximately 30 percent of all vehicles manufactured worldwide come from Japanese automakers car manufacturers. Ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japanese vehicle manufacturers are also amongst the automotive companies that are pushing the development of innovations in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving. The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit of the Continental is also profiting from the dynamics in Asia. Continental began research on driver assistance systems 20 years ago – and today the company is well positioned thanks to its core skills in assisted and automated driving, such as cameras, radar systems, high-resolution laser sensors, electronic control units and software.

“Advanced Driver Assistance Systems is our strongest growth area. This year we will achieve sales of well over one billion euros thanks to our surrounding sensors. In 2020, we expect to exceed two billion in sales, which equates to a further doubling in just five years,” says Karl Haupt, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit. “Much of this sales growth is driven by Japanese manufacturers – but we still see strong growth potential in China and with Chinese OEMs. We expect to achieve around one billion in sales with Asian OEMs by 2018.”

Strengthening development capacities in Japan and India

Continental is particularly focusing on strengthening the development of local capacities through the transfer of increased responsibility, competence and know-how. In Japan alone, the number of development engineers has quadrupled in the past three years. All Japanese manufacturers are also managed directly from Japan. At the beginning of this year, the Toyota Motor Corporation bestowed its Annual Technology & Development Award on the ADAS business unit for the second time, this time honoring the contribution of the Multi Function Camera with Lidar (MFL) to Toyota’s active safety package, “Toyota Safety Sense C“. Meanwhile, more than ten Toyota models worldwide are equipped with the Continental sensor module.

In addition to Japan, the ADAS business unit also focuses on India as a location for its engineering activities in Asia. Here the business unit develops software and algorithms for advanced driver assistance systems.

“The strong growth trend is continuing unabated in Asia and more than 1’000 of our people work here, 70 percent of whom are in Engineering. This underlines the importance of the Asian market and the Asian manufacturers,” says Norbert Hammerschmidt, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit in Asia. “For our latest technologies and innovations, we can draw from a huge pool of skilled talent and offer excellent services worldwide.”

Increase in production capacity for radar sensors in the Philippines and in China

One core element of Continental’s strategy is a high degree of localization – “in the market for the market.” To meet the growing demand of Asian vehicle manufacturers for surrounding sensors, production of short-range radar sensors was launched in Calamba in the Philippines towards the end of 2015. Short-range radar sensors perform functions like Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Assist. Driving forces include legal requirements, but the customers’ demands for more safety and comfort are also of key importance. Additionally, the production of the Multi Function Camera with Lidar will be launched in autumn this year. The plan is to produce over ten million short range radar sensors and one million camera systems in Calamba in the future.

In China, the number of vehicles is keeping pace with the rapid growth of the Chinese economy. Increased focus is also being placed on vehicle safety, which is one of the most important factors in the purchasing decisions of Chinese consumers. To address this trend and strengthen Continental’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems presence in China, a new management position was created and Neil Tang was announced as the first Head of ADAS business unit China. Along with the new ead of ADAS Engineering China, another new position was also filled to further expand the local presence and to supervise series projects together with international and Chinese vehicle manufacturers. A further milestone is the launch of long-range radar sensor production for various customers, planned for 2018 in Shanghai. The goal is to produce several million sensors annually.
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