Continental is to construct a plant in New Braunfels in Texas to expand its capacity for radar sensor production.

“Advanced driver assistance systems save lives [and] Continental is one of the world’s market leaders in this area,” said Continental board member for Autonomous Mobility and Safety, Frank Jourdan.

“We are benefiting from steadily increasing fitment rates in new vehicles. And in the future, too, we are anticipating major growth opportunities.

“Over the next five years, we are planning further investments in the high triple-digit million Euro range in the areas of assisted and automated driving. The capacity expansion in New Braunfels is part of our growth strategy.

“Between 2015 and 2019, sales more than doubled and we can see good opportunities to expand our market position further.”

For the construction of the new plant in New Braunfels, Texas Continental plans to invest about EUR100m (US$110m) during the next three years.

The groundbreaking ceremony is planned for mid-2020, before the scheduled production of radar sensors is planned to start in 2021. This will add another 130 new jobs in the region in addition to the 450 jobs already existing in development and production of driver assistance systems.

These figures do not include further expansion stages of the new plant. To date, Continental produces radar sensors in Seguin, 25km from New Braunfels.

Sensors, software and intelligent connectivity form the basis of advanced driver assistance systems. 

Continental operates its own development centres and production sites in the major regions of Europe, America and Asia.

“Customer proximity in the individual regions is of paramount importance to us,” added Continental Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit head, Karl Haupt.

“The new plant in New Braunfels will provide us with a production facility for our high-tech products, enabling us to continue our growth strategy.”

American car manufacturers use Continental’s radar sensors for technologies such as emergency brake assist and adaptive cruise control.

Technologies tailored specifically to the US market, such as blind-spot monitoring for passenger cars with trailers (Trailer Length Detection and Trailer Merge Assist), which first went into series production in 2018 in the Dodge Ram 1500, are also based on radar sensors.