10/04/2011

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Continental plans major ramp-up of India operations

Continental India Ltd. will be increasing the production of the Modipuram plant to over half a million bias truck and bus tyres (TBX) as early as this year. There are plans for TBX production to grow continuously to more than one million units in 2013. In addition, Continental India announced further investments of more than EUR 50 million to start production of radial tyres for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the second half of 2013. Nikolai Setzer, Executive Board Member Continental AG and Head of the Tire Division, said during a press meeting in Delhi: "In India, there is a rising demand for vehicles with high quality tyres as well as premium technology. Thus, we are convinced that radialisation will be the driving force in the Indian truck tyre market, and therefore our further investments of more than EUR 50 million in radial truck tyre production will prepare a solid base in order to meet that demand.” In the near future, Continental plans to manufacture radial tyres at the Modipuram plant and will generate a competitive leap by being able to offer both radial and bias tyres out of local production. This move will also create further job opportunities as Continental India plans to increase its headcount by more than a third from the current 1,600 employees up to 2,200 to 2,400 within the next few years. At present, Continental has access to 110 regional distribution centres and about 1,400 dealers nationwide that provide links to truck fleets and end consumers. Fresh dealerships will be added at regular intervals. A major portion of sales historically came from aftermarket sales. While a strong focus will still be the tyre replacement market, Continental, as one of the leading international automotive suppliers, intends to build a significant share in OEM business also in India. Commenting on the occasion, Andreas Penkert, designated CEO of Continental India Ltd., said, "This is a milestone for our corporation in India. Continental increased its sales in Asia at corporate level by almost 50 % to over EUR 4 billion last year. Continental is Europe's market leader for passenger car tyres. In the Original Equipment sector, over 30 % of all new European cars leave the factory on Continental tyres. For commercial vehicle tyres, Continental is one of the world's largest manufacturers of premium truck, bus and industrial tyres. With this legacy and a long-term vision for the industry, we start this first direct initiative of the Tire Division here in India with full strength and dedication to make it a success - for our customers, for Continental and our employees, and for the region.”   In July 2011, Continental formally completed the acquisition of Modi Tyres Company Limited which included the existing TBX plant in Modipuram, the tube plant located in Partapur and all related operational assets to those plants along with all customer relationships. Alok Modi, member of the founding family of Modi Tyres Company Limited, will be on the Board of Directors of Continental India Ltd.

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