Continental has presented its Supplier of the Year Awards to 13 component producers at a ceremony in Dresden, Germany for its three divisions of Chassis & Safety, Powertrain and Interior.

It includes the categories, Quality, Technology, Logistics, Costs and Purchasing Conditions, while awards were presented in the six fields of Electronics, Electromechanics, Mechanics & Raw Material, Plastics & Rubber and Investment & Engineering Services in addition to division-specific categories.

For the last six years already, along with these regular categories, there has also been a special Quality Award, which honours exceptional performance in terms of quality improvement.

In Dresden, the Quality Award 2015 went to MS-Schramberg, which supplies Continental with magnets.

In the Electronics category, NDK (frequency devices) and Rohm (broadline electronics) were named Supplier of the Year 2015, while for Electromechanics, the award went to Schlaeger (mechatronic inductors).

In the Mechanics & Raw Material category, Xunhui (casting) and Zhenjiang Xianfeng (stamped rolled assemblies) were honoured; in the Plastics & Rubber category the awards were given to Iriso (connectors) and Senju (product-related auxiliaries).

Awards for Investment and Engineering Services went to ZSI (engineering services) and Strama (assembly production for electronic manufacturing).

Companies which received awards for specific solutions for individual divisions were as follows: for Chassis & Safety, Alcoa (aluminium extrusion and precision machining); for Interior, Eurac (aftermarket); and for Powertrain, Dae Dong Metal Finishing (surface treatment).

“The demands our customers place on us are rising all the time,” said Continental chairman, Elmar Degenhart. “As a result our solutions for this are becoming more complex.

“After all, electrification of the powertrain, automation of driving functions and advanced digitalisation, as well as new business models for advanced mobility services require superior quality, close connectivity, and increasing cross-industry collaboration.

“Many customers also rely on platform concepts. Consequently, the entire supply chain is feeling the effects of these increased, and in some cases new requirements when it comes to quality and reliability.

“This is why we involve our suppliers in our solutions development and quality assurance processes as extensively and as early as possible.

“For this reason, at Continental, quality management for suppliers was recently assigned to the purchasing department, which works particularly closely with our suppliers.”

For its automotive business, Continental procures 135bn individual components a year from a total of 4,000 suppliers at 100 production locations worldwide.

“Every quality issue is also a logistical disruption, which can quickly turn into a supply bottleneck, since our products have an average material proportion of 50%,” said Continental head of purchasing, Günter Fella.

“With our special inspection procedures, which supplement the traditional approvals process, we enable our suppliers to manufacture and supply their components to match our requirements.”