German auto parts company to expand presence with new plant

By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao, Shandong | (China Daily) | 2018-10-19

German auto parts company Continental AG launched a new plant on Thursday in Qingdao, Shandong province, a move aimed at providing higher-quality hose products for vehicles and upgrading system solutions in the Chinese market.

With an investment totaling nearly 240 million yuan ($34.6 million), the new plant, covering 84,000 square meters, is "committed to integrating global resources and capabilities to facilitate structural upgrade for China's local automotive industry and regional economic development based on the demands of the country's automotive market", according to Qi Song, head of Continental's division ContiTech AG in China.

"China is a huge automobile market for the company, and more and more Chinese consumers are upgrading, with a faster frequency, their conventional vehicles to new ones, which are characterized by new energy power, high safety and a comfortable internal environment," Qi said, adding the company is fully commitment to the China's auto market.

Official statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that the production and sale of China's new energy vehicles saw year-on-year increases of 75.38 percent and 87.96 percent respectively during the first eight months of 2018.

According to Qi, the number of privately owned new energy vehicles in China is expected to reach 6 million to 7 million by the end of 2023, equal to current overall vehicles ownership level in Brazil.

According to the company, the Qingdao plant has introduced world-leading technologies, such as advanced air conditioning hoses using new refrigerant HFO-1234yf, lightweight cooling water hoses suitable for electric vehicles, and GPF hoses meeting China's National IV standards.

Philip Nelles, executive vice-president of ContiTech AG, said: "We are also planning a research and development center for hoses in the plant, and will make it our largest automotive hose line production site in China."