Last Friday, a high-level delegation of the German Government led by Mr. Matthias Machnig, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, accompanied by seventeen CEOs and top executives from major German enterprises visited the Continental Tires Plant in Hefei, China. They were warmly welcomed by Dr. Ralf Cramer, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and President & CEO of Continental China, Mr. Philipp von Hirschheydt, Executive Vice President of Business Unit Replacement APAC PLT, and Mr. Michael Egner, General Manager of Continental Tires (China) Co., Ltd. The high-level delegation’s visit took place in the context of promoting the economic relationships between Germany and China and enabled both an exchange as well as a guided tour through Continental’s top technology tire manufacturing facility in Hefei. Dr. Cramer gave the delegation an overview on Continental’s history, global sales, locations, people growth, future focus in China and Continental`s contribution to the Chinese economy.
“We are impressed to see the continuous growth and development of Continental in China and it is our great pleasure to visit today the most modern tire manufacturing facility in the Greenfield of one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide in Hefei. We strongly encourage the exchange and cooperation within the automotive industry between Europe’s largest economy Germany and China, one of the Asia’s fastest growing economies, and we thank our hosts for welcoming our delegation today”, stated Mr. Matthias Machnig, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in his speech at the plant.
“We are honored to welcome Germany’s governmental and business delegation in our Hefei facility. It is an excellent exchange opportunity to discuss key aspects of the German-Chinese economic cooperation and present our twenty years investment experience in China”, highlighted Dr. Ralf Cramer, Member of the Executive Board of Continental AG and President/CEO of Continental China. In the meanwhile Continental also has become one of the top automotive suppliers and partners of the Chinese automotive industry, expanding its presence to 26 production locations and 16 R&D centers with more than 23,000 employees in the country. “We have witnessed and were part of China’s rapid economic development and we aim to further strengthen our position in China, as well as contributing to technology innovations and introducing global expertise to serve local customers and consumers in the future”, added Dr. Cramer.
“It is our greatest honor to host the high-level delegation of the German Federal Government as well as representatives of German enterprises in our Hefei tire plant today. This is the first tire manufacturing facility of our corporation in China; a major step that Continental took to enhance its position in the tire industry in China as well as in Asia Pacific region significantly. We started the investment in Hefei in 2008 as a Greenfield project and have expanded our manufacturing facility year by year, totaling by now an investment of over 290 million Euros and having a workforce of over 1,000. This new plant is equipped with state-of-the-art tire production equipment and applies leading environmental-friendly processes”, said Mr. Michael Egner, the General Manager of Continental Tires (China) Co., Ltd. and the Plant Manager of the Hefei tire plant.
Members of the business delegation included CEOs or Chairmen from SMS group, Nokia / Nokia Networks, ThyssenKrupp AG, Voith GmbH, Bombardier Transportation, Grillo-Werke AG, etc.