Post the covid pandemic, the sales of made-in-India two wheelers are slowly limping back to normal. In the current fiscal, from April to December 2022, the Indian domestic market has seen sales of around 12.26 million units and exports of around 2.9 million units. India is by far the largest two wheeler market in the world.
And it is this growing market, that technology company Continental is focusing on in a very big way. Matthias Matic, Head of Safety and Motion Business Area, Continental Automotive Technologies GmbH, Germany noted, “Globally most of our business comes from four wheelers, but in India a big portion of our business comes out of the two wheeler market. India is the biggest and will remain the biggest two wheeler market in the world. A lot of our activities with regards to two wheelers are driven out of India”.
Matthias Matic along with Prashanth Doreswamy, President & CEO, Continental India was addressing media persons at the Continental plant in Manesar, Gurugram in Haryana on the outskirts of New Delhi. Doreswamy explained, “A new generation of ABS is being developed for two wheelers. It’s a single channel ABS for the sub 250cc segment. Apart from that there are additional features being introduced into the market, be it be optimised curb braking or ride modes which gives an opportunity for the rider to opt for a correct mode where the ABS and braking efficiencies are further improved according to the surface he is riding. It’s already in production, and you also get to see it with a couple of our OEMs”.
Motown India visited the Continental Automotive plant based in Manesar which is into the manufacturing of ABS, ESC, and hydraulic brake systems. Prashanth Doreswamy highlighted the organisation’s restructuring drive initiated last year in response to fast-paced transformation in the automotive sector.
With the changing sectoral landscape, Continental India is further building on its offerings of functional safety products by focusing on three key segments. “The first segment Vehicle Dynamics relates to electronic braking solutions for example ABS and electronic stability control (ESC). The second area of focus for us is PSS (passive safety and sensorics) which is all about passive safety. It includes products like airbags and various sensors for safety. Finally Hydraulic Brakes Systems (HBS) which deals with calipers and hydraulic brakes,” he noted.
Matthias Matic stated that his company’s products and solutions consist of active and passive safety systems and these have evolved a lot over the years and that his company is committed to its vision of promoting zero fatality, zero crashes, and zero injuries.
He reiterated Continental’s commitment to helping people on the move avoid injuries and save precious lives lost in road crashes every day by working closely with OEMs, government, and industry bodies. Continental has been running business operations in India since 2008. India’s importance in the automotive market for Continental has only been growing over the years, he said.
Talking about India’s growing significance in Continental’s global business plans, Matic, pointed out, “We are globally present in different locations, and our team in India is taking more responsibility not only at the local level but globally too.” He further emphasised that is committed to promoting the highest standard of consumer safety through its products and solutions both globally and in India.
For example, Continental Safety and Motion business in India is committed to strengthening and providing enhanced safety to the mobility world with its strong manufacturing base in Bengaluru and Gurugram, supported by strong R&D from Technical Center India (TCI). The plant in Bengaluru is an electronic plant which manufactures electronic control units (ECU) for airbags, electronic stability control (ESC), ABS, and steering. While the plant in Manesar, Gurugram is an assembly plant for ABS, ESC and also manufactures speed sensors such as wheel speed.
As regards future growth areas and product innovations, Matic, said, “With the growing world of connected cars it’s an opportunity as well as a challenge to see how best we can use gathered information and connect it to make mobility a lot safer.”
Research & Development has always been one of Continental’s key focus areas. TCI makes significant contributions to the development of advanced technology for India and the world. TCI is involved in several India-level and global-level projects, ranging from a for-the-market solution like one-channel ABS solutions for 2-wheelers to highly sophisticated technologies for domains such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Artificial Intelligence.
For instance, TCI’s new innovative affordable ADAS solutions - radar sensor and Rear-View Systems (RVS231), that focuses on emerging markets. Adding value with its understanding of the local market and customers, TCI is also fast emerging as a “Center of Competence” for 2-wheeler markets and customized products for the BRIC countries.
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic, and transportation. In 2021, Continental generated sales of Euros 33.8 billion and currently employs more than 190,000 people in 58 countries and markets. On October 8, 2021, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Continental has been present in India for close to 50 years through technology partnerships (Continental Tires since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. Today, the tier 1 automotive supplier, tyre manufacturer, and industrial partner operate across India – with about 8000 employees across 13 locations, including seven plants that cater to the Indian market and a Technical Centre that supports Continental's global R&D activities.
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