Conti Dedicates Zvolen Brake Plant
Only 10 months after breaking ground in April 2005, the Automotive Systems Division of Continental AG has dedicated a new production plant for brake callipers in Zvolen, Slovak Republic. In the future, the plant will produce high-performance brake callipers, some of which will be supplied to automotive plants in the fast growing Automotive Region Eastern Europe (AREE). Continental Automotive Systems plans to invest more than 60 million euros in the Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit, which plays a significant role in securing its international competitiveness.
Continental plans to expand the Zvolen plant into one of Continental Automotive Systems’ largest brake calliper production and assembly locations. Mikulas Dzurinda, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic; Jirko Malcharek, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy; Ivan Miklos, Minister for Finance of the Slovak Republic; Vladimir Manka, Member of the European Parliament and former Mayor of Zvolen; Miroslav Kusein, Manka’s successor; Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, CEO of Continental Automotive Systems and Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG; and Heinz Zingel, Head of the Business Unit Hydraulic Brake Systems all attended the dedication ceremony for the new brake plant on 3 February 2006
According to the manufacturer, “the city of Zvolen is optimally located geographically and offers an excellent infrastructure with motorway and rail access. Moreover, we are able to find highly qualified employees here not only for production but also for development,” were the reasons named by Heinz Zingel for deciding to construct the long-planned Hydraulic Brake Systems plant in Zvolen. The first brake components were produced as early as 8 November 2005, less than seven months after the groundbreaking. Today, the new production site already employs 70 persons.
Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann sees great strategic significance in Zvolen: “This plant strengthens our presence in the rapidly growing Eastern European economic area,” he said. “Our customers, the automobile manufacturers, have built up production capacity for three million vehicles per year and they are planning additional plants. The Zvolen plant is favourably positioned in proximity to many existing and planned production facilities and thus reduces logistics expenses for use and our
customers.” This provides Continental Automotive Systems the best opportunities for participating in the upswing of the Automotive Region East Europe. Continental Automotive Systems recognized the dynamic growth of Eastern Europe early and successfully took it into account, explained Dr Neumann, referring to the development and production locations in Sibiu (Romania), Jicin (Czech Republic) and Veszprém and Budapest (Hungary). With Zvolen as the fifth location in this economic area, Continental Automotive Systems believes it is very well positioned for the challenges of the future and will consequently be able to secure additional locations in other countries.