ContiTech is investing some €13 million in a new plant for air-conditioning and power steering lines in the Russian city of Kaluga. Construction of the plant is expected to begin in February next year; the first series parts are scheduled for production in December 2013.
“Following our acquisition of the US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation’s automotive air-conditioning pipes operations, this investment will help us to further expand our global presence and broaden our customer base,” explains Matthias Schönberg, Head of the Fluid Technology business unit. “The Russian automotive market is one of the strongest-growing markets in the world. This new factory will help our Air Conditioning and Power Steering & Chassis Control segments to gain a foothold in this strategically important market.” With this move, ContiTech is therefore following its customer Renault-Nissan, which holds a majority stake in Russian automaker AvtoVaz.
The manufacturing facility will be constructed on the 60-hectare site where a Continental tire plant is currently being set up. Both facilities will be able to share the existing infrastructure there. The Fluid production hall measures 4,800 m2, and an administration building will also be constructed. The workforce in the new Fluid plant is expected to increase to 160 by 2015. The first employees are already being trained in Germany. The plant will initially supply air-conditioning and power steering lines for Renault/Dacia and power steering lines for AvtoVaz (Lada). In future, all products for the Russian market are to be manufactured directly on site owing to the better proximity to customers.
With a population of 350,000, Kaluga is one of the centers of the Russian automotive industry. It is located some 170 km southeast of Moscow, midway between the automotive regions of St. Petersburg, Moscow and Togliatti. A number of ContiTech’s customers, including Volkswagen, PSA/Citroën and Volvo Trucks have already established production facilities in Kaluga and the surrounding area.