FLETCHER, N.C., Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental, one of the world's leading automotive suppliers, recognized the 15th anniversary of its Henderson County, North Carolina facility today. More than 500 local residents are employed at the 250,000 square-foot facility, which produces state-of-the-art brake calipers for automobiles and light trucks.
In the wake of its 15-year anniversary, the Henderson plant is experiencing unprecedented growth in both business production and employment. Due to the increasing demand for brake calipers throughout North America, the Henderson facility will produce a record-breaking seven million calipers this year alone.
That production rate is estimated to jump to nearly 9 million in 2013 and this positive growth is expected to continue out beyond the 2014 time frame. Henderson is a key manufacturing facility of the Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit in the NAFTA region and will be a strong contributor in Continental's strategy to further grow Foundation and EiPB product segments in the region.
"Since 2009, we've experienced about a 34 percent, year-over-year increase in demand for our brake calipers," said Jeff Scott, plant manager of Continental's Henderson facility. "We currently equip 60,000 vehicles with our calipers each week. This scale of success would truly not be possible without the extraordinary efforts of our highly skilled and dedicated workforce, or the continued loyalty of our customers."
Contributing to this significant growth in production are five new vehicle platforms that Continental launched at its Henderson facility this year. In addition to these programs, the Henderson plant will also be working in conjunction with Continental's Rheinbollen, Germany facility to launch simultaneously a new electro-mechanical caliper with integrated parking brake (EiPB).
"The EiPB Caliper will introduce new challenges to our Henderson team," said Scott. "The assembly process relies heavily on robotics, integrated work cells, and high-tech programming. This is a great opportunity to improve our manufacturing processes and demonstrate the technical competence and adaptability of our employees."
As a result of the recent growth in production, the Henderson facility has also experienced a significant increase in employment.
Over the past three years, Henderson has nearly doubled its workforce. The number of hourly employees has increased almost two-fold from a headcount of 168 in January 2009 to 322, year-to-date. Likewise, the number of salaried positions in the same time period has jumped from 120 to 183.
Alan Williams, Human Resources Manager at the plant, predicts even more employment opportunities to become available in 2013.
"We are looking forward to additional openings in employment at our facility," said Williams. "Anyone interested in reviewing a future job opportunity with Continental should visit our website at www.careers-continental.com."
This exceptional growth not only demonstrates a successful 15 years for Continental in its Henderson location, but also reflects the increasing global presence of the leading automotive supplier.
With sales of €30.5 billion in 2011, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 169,000 employees in 46 countries.