The Future Car Research Center will conduct research to commercialize 5G communication components for vehicles, the first endeavor of its kind in Korea.
Online PR News – 09-April-2022 – Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea – Continental AG, a global automotive technology company known for automobile tires, will invest about KRW 59 billion (USD 48.4 million) to establish the Future Car Research Center in the Bundang Global R&D Center located in Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province.
Lee Han-kyu, Vice Governor II for Administrative Affairs of Gyeonggi Province, and Oh Hee-keun, CEO of Continental Automotive Korea (CAK), met on April 7 via video conferencing and signed the investment agreement.
Martin Henkelmann, CEO and President of the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, joined the signing ceremony, offering congratulations on the agreement between Gyeonggi Province and Continental AG. He said, “I am confident that Continental’s new research institute established at the Bundang Global R&D Center will make another valuable contribution not only to the province’s economy but also to technological cooperation.”
According to the agreement, CAK will create the Future Car Research Center – which will occupy an area of 2,809 square meters on two floors of the Bundang Global R&D Center – and develop autonomous driving software, such as 5G communication components for vehicles and passenger monitoring systems, as well as safety equipment like airbags.
To this end, CAK will gather superior research personnel from its existing business sites in Seongnam City’s Pangyo area and Sejong City. It also plans to hire 40 new researchers. Consequently, around 130 researchers and staff members are expected to work at the new research center within the next five years. The Future Car Research Center will conduct research to commercialize Continental AG’s 5G communication components for vehicles – successfully supplied to General Motors as the first of their kind in the world – in Korea.
After setting up the direction for innovative investment initiatives in June 2020, Gyeonggi Province has been committed to attracting global future car companies. In September of the same year, when Gyeonggi Province carried out investment promotion activities with the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry for German-invested companies, it recognized Continental’s plan to integrate and relocate its research centers. Since then, Gyeonggi Province has actively supported the establishment of Continental’s new integrated facility in the Bundang Global R&D Center.
The Bundang Global R&D Center was built jointly by Gyeonggi Province and Seongnam City to accommodate research centers of high-tech foreign-invested companies. Currently, Germany’s Siemens AG, Japan’s ULVAC, and Continental Automotive Korea are located in the Bundang Global R&D Center.
CAK’s CEO Oh said, “I’d like to thank the Gyeonggi Provincial Government for its great support in establishing our Future Car Research Center. We will continue our efforts to contribute to increased employment in Gyeonggi Province and the development of the local automobile industry in addition to our growth.”
Vice Governor Lee noted, “Gyeonggi Province is located at the center of Korea, home to major global carmakers, and focusing on building infrastructure, such as the Gyeonggi Autonomous Driving Center, as well as attracting global companies for future automobiles.” He added, “We expect this agreement will lead to collaboration with about 40 small- and medium-sized enterprises in the province, strengthening the roots of the domestic automotive industry.”
Founded in Hanover, Germany, in 1871, Continental AG has a worldwide reputation as a tire manufacturer. Recently, it has been expanding its business scope by developing autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems. Last year, it achieved sales of about EUR 33.8 billion (KRW 45 trillion) and currently employs about 190,000 people in 58 countries.
Continental Automotive Korea, established in 1997, is currently headquartered in Pangyo and has approximately 320 employees, providing vehicle communication and safety components for autonomous driving to major carmakers in Korea and overseas. In addition, since 2001, the company has been promoting research projects in cooperation with around 40 SMEs and startups in the automobile sector of Gyeonggi Province.