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Automotive Industry Fuels Chongqing-Germany Cooperation

By Dai Yuan|Apr 20,2024

Chongqing - During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent visit to China, he was joined by top executives from German auto giants, highlighting the solid automotive ties between Germany and China. His first stop was Chongqing, a major auto manufacturing hub in China.

German automotive companies and suppliers have been increasing investments in China, particularly in Chongqing, a key destination in the industry's shift toward intelligence and electrification.

Continental is a German company that specializes in innovative technologies and services for vehicles, machines, traffic, and transportation. It has set up R&D and software development centers in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area, focusing on software for intelligent, connected vehicles.

The Continental Chongqing R&D center in Liangjiang New Area. (Photo/Continental)

The R&D center has completed numerous projects for global car manufacturers, focusing on advanced technologies in electrical/electronic architecture and the Internet of Vehicles.

Thomas Meurers, chief technology officer for Continental Automotive China and general manager of Chongqing R&D Center, said Chongqing is competitive regarding talents, industry base, and business environment. 

Meurers highlighted Chongqing's top universities, which bolster scientific research, its pivotal role in the automotive industry due to its mature industrial layout, and Continental's strong partnership with Liangjiang New Area.

Last year, Continental strategically partnered with the National Elite Institute of Engineering, Chongqing University, to cultivate talent. Continental aims to boost the R&D capacity of the Chongqing center, foster a dynamic cooperation ecosystem, advance the development and adoption of cutting-edge technologies, and drive the growth of intelligent mobility in China through innovation.

Just months prior to the Continental and Chongqing University partnership, the Vibracoustic Chongqing factory commenced operations in Liangjiang New Area. 

Vibracoustic, a renowned global expert in automotive noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), offers innovative solutions for the mobility sector. With an investment of around 170 million yuan, the Chongqing factory is poised to support local car manufacturers in China.

"Chongqing boasts a strong industrial foundation and comprehensive industrial chains. We aim for sustainability through expanding the local customer base, fostering local talent, and importing advanced technologies," said Tao Dongming, general manager of the Vibracoustic Chongqing factory.

The auto industry has been a development driver in Chongqing and an upstart in overseas markets, including Germany. In 2023, the municipality exported 368,000 vehicles to more than 80 countries and regions, up 29.8% year over year.

At IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich, NEVs manufactured in Chongqing impressed global visitors. Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, praised SERES after a test drive and expressed optimism about its potential in Europe. With over 500,000 vehicles exported to over 70 countries and regions, SERES continues to expand its global presence.

SERES showcased two new models at the IAA Mobility 2023. (Photo/SERES)

In Chongqing's modern industrial cluster development plan, intelligent connected NEVs are a key focus alongside two other industry clusters. By 2030, the municipality aims to establish a world-class intelligent connected NEV cluster as part of its ambitious goals.

(The original author is Guo Shuyu from Liangjiang New Area Media Center)


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