China, the automotive supplier Continental is recording steep production
increases for transmission control units (TCU). Launched in Changchun in 1998,
TCU production expanded significantly in 2008 with the opening of a new plant
in Tianjin, near Beijing. In 2010, Continental celebrated the millionth TCU
"made in China".
three and a half years later, total volume has now climbed to nearly 9 million
units. The exact figure is 8,888,888 units, which is a special reason to
celebrate in China, 8 traditionally being a lucky number. The opening ceremony
for the Olympic Games in Beijing, for example, started at 8:08 PM on
to a company press release, Continental's Tianjin location has since become the
largest plant anywhere in the world operated by the Transmission Business Unit,
which is part of the Powertrain Division. Here Continental mainly produces T76
systems (for stepped automatic transmission) and DQ200 (for double clutch
transmission). The plant delivers the parts to nearby factories run by two
major international automakers.
EAST, a platform specially tailored for local manufacturers, is, however, also
produced here. The Transmission Business Unit also has a large development team
based at the Shanghai location to support customers in China. As Rudolf Stark,
Executive Vice President of the Transmission Business Unit, points out:
"The TCUs are highly successful in China. We laid the groundwork for this
growth very early on and have invested a lot over the last few years. This also
includes setting up an entire supplier network. The short supply chain and the
high local vertical integration enable us to react quickly and flexibly to
changes in the market."