Automotive supplier Continental has opened its third research and development (R&D) building in Singapore.

The new facility is to meet demand for engineering capacity driven by worldwide business expansion, particularly in Asia.

It is one of the three largest Continental R&D centres in Asia, and among the largest private R&D facilities in Singapore. The new, seven-storey building has a floor space of 11,000 sq m. It will accommodate employees from the interior and powertrain division. With this addition, the location will hire 500 employees in the next few years.

"Our presence in Asia has grown significantly. In 2017 we made 22% of our total sales in the region. The opening of our third R&D building in Singapore attests to our confidence in, and commitment to, Singapore as a strategic location to expand our research and development centres in Asia. We are future-ready. We will be hiring more engineers with the relevant competencies and knowledge to ride the growth and demand for new technologies in the industry," the supplier said.

"In 2012, we had 650 employees, and to date we have more than 1,300, doubling the figure in just over a span of six years. Our target is to grow to more than 2,000 employees within the next five years. The rapid development within the automotive industry necessitates having sufficient talent," said a Continental Automotive Singapore spokesman.

Building features include hydraulically adjustable workstations, soundproof booths for teleconferencing and small 'discussion pods'. The interior uses vibrant colours with natural lighting and wide open spaces "to create a stimulating work environment", Conti said.