German Continental first to launch serial production electric drive
(SeeNews) – Sep 13, 2011 – German tire manufacturer Continental (ETR:CON) is ready to start mass production of its Synchron electric drive, the company's CEO Elmar Degenhart announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA on Tuesday.
Continental is said to be the world's first automotive supplier to do that. Significant environmental feature of the drive is its total independence from fossil fuels and the lack of rare earths from the production process.
The first automotive brand to mount Synchron is French Renault (EPA:RNO).
The Continental plant in Gifhorn, Germany acquired over EUR 12 million (USD 16.3m) for upgrades in order to facilitate the production. The annual production capacity is estimated at 60,000 units, but forecasts for 2012 put that number at 75,000.
Since the crisis year 2009, Continental experiences a significant rise in sales, research and manpower. The company is planning to raise its investments in research and development (R&D) in 2011 by 10% year-on-year to EUR 1.6 billion.