Continental is further expanding its global activities in software development for the automotive industry. The technology company, which is one of the leading providers in the field of automated and connected mobility, is today opening a development center for software and systems in Chongqing, southwest China. Not only will this increase Continental’s local capacity for software development in China, it will also allow the DAX-listed company to strengthen its know-how and expertise in the field of software and system development for modern vehicle concepts.
“With this step, we are programming our organization for increased growth in China as the world’s largest automotive market. The key to success there is local value creation, which we are constantly increasing. Roughly one in ten Continental employees currently works in China, and they will be joined by a low triple-digit number of software and IT experts at our new development center by the end of 2021,” said Continental CEO Nikolai Setzer about the company’s latest strategic move. He added: “We are at the forefront when it comes to software, employing around 20,000 software and IT specialists worldwide and operating our own software academy. With the addition of Chongqing, we are further consolidating our global network of development centers and gaining even more expertise.”
Vehicles of the future are intelligent and smart in that their components, systems and programs communicate with each other – constantly, quickly and securely. To do so, they must have a high degree of connectivity and automation, which is increasingly being made possible by versatile software applications. According to forecasts by a renowned consulting firm, global automotive software sales will multiply from $20 billion in 2019 to $50 billion in 2030 and China will be the largest market, accounting for around 34 percent of electronics and software revenue.
The technologies developed in China by Continental are embedded in innovative driver assistance systems, for example. They also control high-performance computers and customer-friendly vehicle architectures, and enable end-to-end connectivity of vehicle systems.
“In China, speed is paramount. With our local development center for software and systems, we are driving future mobility in the country. It will allow us to act even more flexibly and shorten our route to customers, with whom we will bring automotive trends to Chinese roads even faster. In this way, we will help them to stay ahead of their competitors with our pioneering, innovative technologies,” said Enno Tang, president and CEO of Continental China.
To date, one billion vehicles have functions on board that bear the hallmark of Continental’s software and IT experts. To name just one example, Continental was one of the first automotive suppliers to develop an innovative high-performance computer, which acts as a central interface to the internet and enables full vehicle connectivity. This pioneering breakthrough in vehicle development immediately went into production, and since autumn 2020, the computer has been the beating heart of the ID.3 and ID.4 electric vehicles and is now available in other models from Volkswagen.
Intelligent connected vehicles have become a key component of the automotive industry, especially in China. Continental is therefore increasingly driving the local transformation of electrical and electronic (E/E architecture) to a modern, open mobility architecture.
“Continental is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and has been active in the Chinese market for 26 years. We have achieved remarkable results here,” said Tang, adding: “The new development center is part of our strategy to further increase value creation in China. This is how we will ensure growth in the Chinese market in the long term.”