India is emerging as one of the key Asian markets for German autoparts maker Continental Automotive. The company is planning further expansion of its operations in India by setting up couple of new facilities in the next few years.

“We are certainly looking at setting up another plant by 2012,” a high level source close to the development told just-auto.

The planned units will manufacture complete diesel injection systems and airbag sensors.

However, the source would not divulge location details of the proposed units, saying it was too early to comment on the location. The company has already invested INR450 crore (INR4.5bn or about US$90m) in its Indian facilities in the last three years and INR220 crore (INR2.2bn/US$45m) in the Bangalore plant manufacturing electronic components.

“Continental will focus on our growth potential especially in the BRIC countries. India is one of the key future markets for the company,” the source told just-auto.

Continental is planning to focus aggressively on the Indian market to raise revenue generation from the Asian market. “Currently, Asia contributes about 14% of the revenue generated from global annual sales. [We plan] to raise around 20-35% [of total revenue] from the Asian market by 2015,” the source said.   

As part of the expansion plans, the international supplier will increase headcount at its R&D centre by 30".

"We will add 180 engineers at the technical centre in Bangalore. Currently, we have 550."

Continental operates from eight locations in India - Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Manesar and Pune and is therefore represented and connected to all major automotive manufacturing and export hubs, serving most major OEMs operating in India.

In 2009 Continental relocated its central technical centre in Bangalore. Together with staff contracted from partners, this centre makes available the services of over 600 highly skilled engineers to Continental’s global automotive organisation.