Vitesco Technologies, the powertrain business unit of Continental, has announced plans to build a research and development centre in the Chinese city of Tianjin. As part of the plan, the company has signed a corresponding agreement with the Administration Committee of the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA). which will see Vitesco Technologies develop technologies for hybrid and electric powertrains in the R&D centre, which is scheduled for completion in 2021.
“The new centre in Tianjin further expands our development capacities right in the centre of where we expect the biggest electrification growth over the next years,” stated Thomas Stierle, head of the electrification technology business unit of Vitesco Technologies.
The planned R&D complex will have a gross floor area of 9,000 square meters, including offices, and a test lab where electric drive technologies can be tested and validated with a range of test facilities. The centre will host systems, software, electronics, mechatronics and testing engineers.
Tianjin is already one of the most important locations in China for Vitesco Technologies, as the company operates a plant there, with highly automated production lines for large volumes, to meet mass-market requirements.
According to Yanfei Cao, head of the company’s electrification Technology business unit in Asia, the facility “will help us to forge even closer links to local customers in the world’s largest automotive market, and enable us to optimally support our customers in the development of vehicles with electrification technologies.”
The new R&D centre will work closely with Vitesco Technologies’ R&D centre in Shanghai.
In October 2019, series production of the fully integrated electric axle drive system for PSA and Hyundai started at the Tianjin plant. According to the company, other vehicle manufacturers have chosen Vitesco Technologies to supply drive systems for various battery-electric cars that are planned for launch over the coming months.