After a year of having started operations in Queretaro, the Center for Research and Development of Continental has consolidated as a pioneer in development and technological innovation in Mexico for the world.
Located in the southern part of the city, this center houses 400 employees and is designed under a concept of open spaces and collaborative areas in addition to testing laboratories, which allows greater interaction between researchers for creative development.
Jorge Vazquez, director of the R&D Center in Mexico, explained that the different areas allow individual and collaborative work, as it is a combination of personal and laboratory spaces combination.
“Working in different environments allows providing more perspective to a person creating technology; us here in Continental Mexico are developing forefront technology for the automotive market in the world, not only of Mexico,” said Jorge Vazquez.
What is produced here are systems focused on accident prevention and vehicle users’ safety through detection of blind points, of pedestrians and crossings danger; warnings regarding objects around, protection systems activation, among others, which could allow making a self-driving transportation mean capable of taking control and prevent human errors.
Continental is a German industry with more than 150 years in the automotive market and for twenty years they decided to settle their first Center for Research and Development in Mexico, in Guadalajara, initially with very basic activities which to date have evolved until including connectivity, automation, sustainability, digitalization and urbanization increase.
In order to continue supporting Continental operation in America and after assessing other 17 cities under different parameters, the second center was opened in Queretaro. The predominant conditions to make this decision were safety, a combination of a colonial city with an industrial environment in growth, geographic location and researchers’ presence.
“The number of professors and researchers per capita is one of the highest in the country, and for a Center for Research and Development is important having access to the people that has the knowledge,” explained the director.
Mexico is one of the countries that concentrate more people in Continental, after Germany; at least 24 thousand Mexican employees, of a total of 240 thousand worldwide. Products made in the R&D center in Queretaro are not carried out directly in the manufacturing area despite there are 21 plants in national territory, but they are taken to another department for their adaptation and development.
Continental is a technological leader company in agile software development in the industry. According to Jorge Vazquez, what makes Queretaro plant standout is the innovation they offer to young professionals.
According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE, by its Spanish initials), Mexico is among the ten countries with more students who graduated in the careers of Engineering and Sciences, surpassed by countries like Russia, the United States, Iran, and India.
“A lot of innovation is generated here, there is much youth bringing a very novel perspective, with a strong desire to demonstrate we can face many challenges at a corporate level and that it has to do with the generation of creative ideas”.
Continental held a total investment of more than 50 million euros in this Center for Research and Development, which represents an example that the country can go beyond manufacture.
Underconfidence of value, freedom to act, passion for winning and team spirit, the company of Continental seeks for its workers to have the possibility of contributing with their talent and collaboration the pursuit of specific objectives.
Finally, for Jorge Vazquez the outlook to continue growing in Queretaro becomes encouraging: “We are not having challenges which are particular of Mexico, but that are challenges of Continental around the world, by taking advantage of the capability we have shown through the years Mexican engineers have to also create solutions and systems”.
Founded in 1871, Continental offers safe and smart solutions for vehicles, machines, and transportation. In 2018, the company generated sales for 44.4 million euros and currently employs more than 244 thousand people in 61 countries and markets.