German automotive manufacturing company Continental AG has opened a new research and development center in Querétaro with an investment of 50 million euros (US $59 million).
Located in the state capital’s mixed-use development project known as Q7001, the center is the first facility of its kind to be opened by Continental in Mexico and will start operations with 160 employees.
However, by the end of the year its work force is expected to grow to 400 and by 2022 it will provide employment for 1,000 people.
The facility will focus on the development of collision avoidance systems as well as technologies to both reduce carbon emissions and improve driver-vehicle interaction.
At the official opening ceremony yesterday, center director Jorge Vázquez Murillo said that “throughout its 40 years of history, Continental México has been a driving force for innovation,” in the country, adding that its employees have developed 23 patented products and systems and completed about 830 projects.
Vázquez explained that the decision to open the center in Querétaro was made due to the city’s industrial and academic capacities as well as the existence of other research centers in the area, which will allow Continental to forge ties and collaborate with other companies.
The modern 10,600-square-meter facility, the third research and development center Continental has opened in the world, features laboratories, mechanical workshops and meeting rooms among other amenities.
Querétaro Governor Francisco Domínguez Servién, who also attended the inauguration alongside federal Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo, said the state is now home to 54 public and private sector research centers, making it one of the nation’s most technically advanced.
Between 2,500 and 3,000 new engineers graduate from universities in the state annually, he added.
“. . . We have 226 automotive sector companies [in the state] and that industry alone generates 50,000 jobs . . . We’re the only state that has an automotive university and that keeps the industry growing,” Domínguez said.
Continental already has 19 manufacturing plants in operation in Mexico.
Source: El Universal (sp)