Sibiu, Romania-Continental AG has invested Euro 20 million to add an automotive systems plant in Sibiu to its other tyre and rubber parts plants in Romania.
The automotive supplier is making 1.2 million window control units with integrated anti-trap function annually at the new facility. An area of the plant will also carry out research and development for Continental Automotive Systems.
The operation currently employs about 100, but up to 216 jobs are planned, 135 of them for development engineers.
Continental Automotive Systems will be taking advantage of the favourable conditions in Romania, having had positive experiences in passenger and light truck tyres and other ContiTech products in Timisoara, near its OEM customers, said Ralf Cramer, head of the Electronic Brake and Safety Systems business unit.
"The criteria we use when selecting a location include not only attractive labour costs and flexible working times," added Thomas Sattelberger, Continental head of human resources. Good infrastructure and qualified workers who can also speak English are additional bonuses, Sattelberger said, pointing out that Continental is also partnering with the local Lucian Blaga University to promote education of engineers.
Continental is a major foreign investor Romania, having invested over Euro 100 million in the Timisoara tyre plant, where 800 workers make over 9 million car tyres a year. Other Timisoara units are ContiTech Romania srl, which has been manufacturing automotive power transmission belts with about 50 employees since 2002, and a ContiTech Fluid plant with some 130 employees, which will start making automotive air-conditioning lines this autumn.