Continental expands ECU production in Russia

July 06, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive tier one Continental AG has announced to significantly expand its Electronic component production in Kaluga, Russia. The company expects very strong growth in the emerging Russian market. The goal: Continental wants to be the leading electronics supplier for the Russian automotive industry.

According to the German automotive supplier, the Russian market is among the fastest growing markets worldwide: Currently, 230 inhabitants of 1000 own a car. By the end of the decade, this figure is expected to grow to 375. This translates into a growth of more than 50 percent. And while Germany as Europe's largest automotive market can absorb some three million new vehicles every year, Continental expert Christian Kögl expects 3.5 million new cars in Russia in 2015 and even 3.75 million in 2020.

In order to participate from this market opportunity, Continental has announced it will establish a new production line for electronic engine control devices. The capacity will be "at least one million devices per year", a company spokesperson said. Driven by legal requirements for better fuel efficiency and lower emissions, the demand for electronic control units is expected to increase strongly. At the Kaluga plant, the company will manufacture mostly its Easy-U 32-bit ECU. The modular device can be expanded; it can be adapted to the respective vehicle and its requirements just by changing its software.

Besides the engine control unit, Continental intends to manufacture injection systems and fuel system components in the new plant. The company will invest about 6 million euros.

As a part of Continental's strategy to become the number one electronics supplier in Russia, it renamed its local subsidiary from Avtel LLC to Continental Automotive Systems Rus.