Continental has announced a US$40m investment to expand its Morganton Plant, which manufactures automotive brake systems. The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2018. As recently announced by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Continental has been awarded a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) to support the expansion, which will create approximately 160 new jobs over the next five years, adding to the facility’s more than 400 full time employees.

“We’re always encouraging our existing manufacturing partners to expand right here in North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “And we feel confident that Continental will be able to find the skilled workforce they need to enhance their footprint in the beautiful mountain gateway of Morganton. The addition of these good-paying jobs will mean more money in the pockets of Burke County residents.”

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The expansion will add production floor space to meet the growing demand for Continental’s next generation MK C1 integrated brake system. It will also extend the warehouse and supporting areas to accommodate increasing production and logistics. The facility currently produces Continental’s MK 100 brake systems and has started production of the new MK C1.

“The Morganton Plant has a proven record for producing the current brake system and is a natural fit for expansion to meet the production needs of our newest product,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental, North America. “Continental is working to make mobility safer, more efficient and convenient and the MK C1 makes a major contribution to safe and dynamic driving, as well as energy efficiency.”

The MK C1 “brake-by-wire” design enables 100% recuperation of braking energy. Further benefits include an approximate 30% weight reduction of the system and remote control and efficient braking dynamics in a compact unit. The innovative electronic brake system integrates the brake actuation, brake booster and control systems (ABS and ESC) into a compact, weight-saving one box design module.

Continental’s MK C1 can build up braking pressure in 150 ms (time-to-lock), which is twice as fast as conventional systems today. In addition, the system meets the requirements for a recuperative braking system without any additional measures, while providing a high level of comfort. Continental supplies Alfa Romeo with its MK C1 for the new Giulia.

Continental recently won a 2017 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) Award for its MK C1 integrated brake system. The PACE Awards are recognised around the world as industry benchmarks for innovation.

Continental’s Chassis and Safety division develops and produces integrated active and passive driving safety technologies and products supporting vehicle performance dynamics, such as sensors and advanced driver assistance systems.