Continental has started production of anti-lock brake systems (ABS) at its Brazilian site in Várzea Paulista, near São Paulo.

"The use of ABS systems is on the increase in the fast-growing Brazilian market and it is now being given legal force: from 2014 ABS will be mandatory for all new vehicles," said Continental Chassis & Safety Division EVP Electronic Brake Systems Business Unit, Frank Jourdan.

"By producing these systems in-country, we are matching our portfolio to the requirements of our local customers."

The existing ABS production line has been taken over and integrated into the Várzea Paulista plant where, until now, only hydraulic brake systems had been produced.

This makes Várzea Paulista, Continental's first electronic brake system production site in South America.

Around EUR10m (US$13m) has been invested in the project. The ABS-related wheel speed sensors are produced at the sister plant in Salto (Brazil).

ABS safety systems are standard equipment for passenger cars and are a legal requirement in many countries.

The Várzea Paulista site is now home to the application engineering and the local production of the MK 70 and MK 78 - electronic brake systems with ABS functionality for compact and sub-compact vehicles suited to the South American market.

"ABS production will be based on a two-shift system in the first half of 2013; three-shifts will then be worked in the second half of the year," said Electronic Brake Systems Business Unit in Brazil head, Michael Diehl. "We have taken on 80 new employees in order to achieve this."

The maximum capacity of the new ABS production line is 1.2m units a year. The Várzea Paulista site was opened in 1969; the Chassis & Safety Division's centre for the development and production of hydraulic brake systems in Brazil is also based there.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more