Continental has signed a joint venture agreement with Rico Auto Industries India to build a hydraulic brake systems plant in the country in a two-step approach generating sales of EUR30m in its first phase.

The joint venture will be a 50/50 partnership between the two companies but Continental Automotive Systems will lead management. The plant will begin mass production of hydraulic brake systems in the fourth quarter of 2008, employing around 450 workers in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. On completion of the second phase the plant will have annual turnover of EUR65m and 625 workers.

When construction is complete in 2008, the plant will produce hydraulic brake products consisting of callipers for front and rear axles, drum brakes, master cylinders, brake boosters and load sensing proportioning valves for vehicles of all classes, supplying OEM customers in India. Planned annual capacity is 1m brake actuation units and 2m callipers, 1.5m drum brakes and 0.5m load sensing valves.

Rico, a $US250m group, is well known in the Indian automotive industry. With one of the biggest ferrous & aluminium casting and machining facilities in the country, it is one of the major suppliers of machined components and assemblies to both Indian and global OEMs.