Continental Automotive Brake Systems (India), a subsidiary of Continental Automotive India, is exploring ways of making the India operations a global hub for manufacturing and R&D for the vehicle dynamics business unit.
India is the largest market for two-wheelers in the world, and the company understands the opportunity that the market offers and the need to do more out of India. That is one of the strategies that Continental is driving within the vehicle dynamics business, and as Krishan Kohli, India Market Head for Hydraulic Brake Systems and Vehicle Dynamics BU and Managing Director, Continental Automotive Brake Systems (India) said, the India business is getting to take those decisions.
He confirmed there are strong discussions within the vehicle dynamics BU for making India a global hub for both manufacturing and R&D of brake solutions and technologies.
Kohli was speaking to Mobility Outlook during a recent media roundtable organised by the company at its plant in Manesar, Haryana.
Localisation Is Key
A critical component in that process is localisation of the assembled products, as well as the child parts that go into these products. Continental has been producing hydraulic brake systems (HBS) for over a decade in the country, and has over the years, built a high level of localisation in all the three product lines – across actuators, drums and callipers. Currently, localisation in HBS is upwards of 65%, informed Kohli.
Continental has also already localised both the electronic control unit assemblies for Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) at its Bangalore plant. Moreover, the complete hydraulic control unit assembly has also been localised at the Gurgaon plant. For electric brakes, the localisation content currently stands in the range of 50%, and Kohli affirmed the company is looking at growing that further to ensure sustainable growth in the future.
Among various advanced technologies the company is looking at getting into India is Electric Parking Brake (EPBs), Kohli said, adding Continental is also working on future brake solutions such as dry brakes, which will likely come into the market beyond 2025.
Serving Global Markets
Continental operates with a ‘in the market, for the market’ strategy. Its footprint in India is primarily to service the Indian market, but considering the gaps that the company sees in other markets, Continental also services some other markets from its bases in India, China and Japan.
The ASEAN markets, for instance, are serviced by either of these locations – sometimes based on customer preferences and mutual discussions between an OEM and Continental.
Eventually in the long-term, Continental would like to consolidate its two-wheeler footprint in India and start servicing more of the global markets from this market. This, Kohli said, is the future vision for the organisation.
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