According to Continental, Asia remains the number one growth market for the automotive industry – and the numbers are impressive: Over 50 per cent of all vehicles produced worldwide come from Asian car manufacturers and approximately 30 per cent of all vehicles manufactured worldwide come from Japanese automakers. Ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japanese vehicle manufacturers are also amongst the automotive companies that are pushing the development of innovations in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving.
The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit of Continental is also profiting from the dynamics in Asia. Continental began research on driver assistance systems 20 years ago – and today the company says it is ideally positioned thanks to its core skills in assisted and automated driving, such as cameras, radar systems, high-resolution laser sensors, electronic control units and software.
“Advanced Driver Assistance Systems is our strongest growth area. This year we will achieve sales of well over one billion euros thanks to our surrounding sensors. In 2020, we expect to exceed two billion in sales, which equates to a further doubling in just five years,” says Karl Haupt, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit. “Much of this sales growth is driven by Japanese manufacturers – but we still see strong growth potential in China and with Chinese OEMs. We expect to achieve around one billion in sales with Asian OEMs by 2018.”
Strengthening development capacities in Japan and India
Continental is particularly focusing on strengthening the development of local capacities through the transfer of increased responsibility, competence and know-how. In Japan alone, the number of development engineers has quadrupled in the past three years. All Japanese manufacturers are also managed directly from Japan. At the beginning of this year, the Toyota Motor Corporation bestowed its Annual Technology & Development Award on the ADAS business unit for the second time, this time honouring the contribution of the Multi Function Camera with Lidar (MFL) to Toyota’s active safety package, “Toyota Safety Sense C“. Meanwhile, more than ten Toyota models worldwide are equipped with the Continental sensor module.
In addition to Japan, the ADAS business unit also focuses on India as a location for its engineering activities in Asia. Here the business unit develops software and algorithms for advanced driver assistance systems. “The strong growth trend is continuing unabated in Asia and more than 1,000 of our people work here, 70 per cent of whom are in Engineering. This underlines the importance of the Asian market and the Asian manufacturers,” says Norbert Hammerschmidt, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit in Asia. “For our latest technologies and innovations, we can draw from a huge pool of skilled talent and offer excellent services worldwide.”