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17. October 2005

MALAYSIA: Continental to invest US$50m in M’sia plants

Source: Daily "The Star", Kuala Lumpur; 17 Oct 2005

CONTINENTAL AG plans to invest some US$40mil to US$50mil in equipments and machineries at its plants in Malaysia, said director of marketing and sales for passenger car replacement Europe Jürgen Schmidt. The Continental group owns 51% of Continental Sime Tyre International (M) Sdn Bhd, while the remaining stake is held by Sime Darby Bhd. The tyre factories are located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor and Alor Star, Kedah. “We are increasing our tyre production, and we are modernising the production process to maintain our market share in Malaysia as well as using the country as an industry base for Asian countries,” Schmidt said. He added that the export portion of production would increase to 50% over the next two to three years from the present 25%. Schmidt was speaking to Malaysian reporters on the sidelines at the launch of the Global Engineering Excellence, an initiative by the Continental group with eight international universities to do a comprehensive research on engineering sciences. The study, whose results are expected to be presented in autumn next year, looks at the influence and importance of technological expertise and education on the competitiveness of nations, people and companies. The participating universities are:

  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA
  • Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • and Tsinghua University, China. Meanwhile, the group is expected to open its new Asia headquarters for automotive systems in Shanghai, China over the next few weeks, said chief executive officer Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann. “We are interested in moving into Asian countries but there are currently no concrete plans to do so,” he said. The Continental group is a leading supplier of brake systems, chassis components, vehicle electronics, tyres and technical elastomers. Last year it made 12.6 billion euros in sales and invested over half a billion euros in research and development (R&D). R&D staff accounted for more than 5,000 of its total workforce of 81,000 employees worldwide. (Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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