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Continental invests $72 million in India

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Continental AG is expanding in the Indian market. Following the recent acquisition of Modi Tyres Co. Ltd., the company has a new entity - Continental India Ltd..

The company says it is ramping up its operations significantly in both replacement and OEM business in India. Continental India will be increasing the production of the Modipuram plant to 500,000 bias truck and bus tires (TBX) as early as this year. Plans call for TBX production to grow continuously to more than one million units in 2013.

In addition, Continental India announced further investments of more than 50 million Euros ($72 million) to start production of radial tires for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the second half of 2013.

“In India, there is a rising demand for vehicles with high-quality tires as well as premium technology,” says Nikolai Setzer, executive board member at Continental AG and head of the Tire Division. “Thus, we are convinced that radialization will be the driving force in the Indian truck tire market, and therefore our further investments of more than 50 million Euros in radial truck tire production will prepare a solid base in order to meet that demand.”

In the near future, Continental plans to manufacture radial tires at the Modipuram plant and will generate a competitive leap by being able to offer both radial and bias tires out of local production. This move will also create further job opportunities as Continental India Ltd. plans to increase its headcount by more than a third from the current 1,600 employees up to 2,200 to 2,400 within the next few years.

At present, Continental has access to 110 regional distribution centers and about 1,400 dealers nationwide that provide links to truck fleets and end consumers. Fresh dealerships will be added at regular intervals. A major portion of sales historically came from aftermarket sales.

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