Continental Automotive speaks to the Automotive Focus Group

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The very active Automotive Focus Group (AFG) invited Thomas Chambers, MD Continental Automotive Thailand to address the group’s May meeting, held at the Nova Platinum.

Thomas spoke about the current and future activities in Thailand and ASEAN followed by a Q&A session.

Continental is one of the top five Tier 1 suppliers worldwide and is planning for significant growth in Thailand and the region.

The theme of the presentation revolved around the concept he called “The shift of power to the East.”  This would be the result of the supply chain shifting to Asia as opposed to Asia’s previous involvement in the auto industry of just manufacturing parts.  He also mentioned that Singapore was becoming an R&D facility for his company, which has its head offices in Germany.

Thomas Chambers addresses the AFG.Thomas Chambers addresses the AFG.

With vehicle production, Thailand and Indonesia have 11 makes each, Vietnam six and Australia three (but will be two by 2016 after Ford ceases its Australian manufacturing plant).

The SE Pacific region produces 5.5 million vehicles each year, of which Thailand produces 55 percent of the total.  And in fact, he believes that 50 percent of all cars in the future will come from Asian OEM’s.

Looking to the future, Continental believes that the pick-up production will remain number 1 in Thailand, but the A and B car segment will increase to 38 percent of the total in the next five years.

Megatrends will involve Safety, active and passive and semi-autonomous driving.  Clean power will be demanded to assist the environment, intelligent driving aids will increase, including V2V communications.

After the presentation, the AFG members had a networking session with snacks and drinks, supplied by the Nova Platinum.