Continental opens $110 million self-driving systems factory in Texas – Commercial Property Executive
Continental, which makes parts for autonomous driving systems, completed a $110 million, 215,000 square foot factory in New Braunfels, Texas. The new plant is located approximately 15 miles from another Continental facility in Seguin, Texas.
The Germany-based company, which also has facilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and Santa Barbara, Calif., held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to mark the end of the construction process that began in 2020, but has been delayed by the pandemic. . More than 150 state and local officials and community members attended the event and toured the new plant, which has already begun operations. The company plans to increase production, add more workers in 2023, and grow to around 580 employees over four years.
Located on 48 acres off Interstate 35, the plant is part of Continental’s Autonomous Mobility business segment and will manufacture radars, sensors and other products for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS ) which are the basis of assisted and automated driving.
READ ALSO: The industrial sector adopts reshoring initiatives
With the new location, Continental is expanding its R&D and manufacturing capabilities in the United States. The 320,000 square foot Seguin plant operates under the Vitesco Technology name and employs more than 1,500 people in the company’s powertrain division.
Frank Petznick, a member of the company’s automotive board of directors and head of autonomous mobility for the business line, said in a prepared statement that Continental has been researching and developing ADAS systems for more than 25 years. Petznick added that the new plant will play a vital role as the company expands its ADAS business in North America and will also support its goal of vision zero – zero deaths, injuries and accidents on the roads.
Continental received about $5.5 million in incentives for the New Braunfels plant, according to local media. Comal County Commissioners and New Braunfels City Council members approved separate incentive packages in 2019, including 10-year property tax refunds if certain job and salary levels are met by the employer. ‘company. The New Braunfels Economic Development Corp., which is funded by a designated sales tax, provided money to the company for infrastructure, land acquisition and sewer improvements.
At Tuesday’s ceremony, Continental donated a total of $20,000 to the New Braunfels and Comal Independent School Districts to support career-making and technical education programs offered by the districts. New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman said in prepared remarks the town is pleased to see Continental grow in the community and create well-paying engineering and manufacturing jobs.
A booming industrial market
New Braunfels is located midway between San Antonio and Austin and is part of the San Antonio Industrial Market. The overall vacancy rate on the market is 7.5%. In New Braunfels, the manufacturing vacancy rate is 2.3% and the overall industrial vacancy rate, including warehouse and distribution, is 1.9%, according to a JLL report for the second quarter. . The San Antonio Industrial Market saw 11 quarters of positive uptake in Q2, and this streak is expected to continue through Q3 due to a steady development pipeline, rental growth and users gearing up. to occupy, JLL also reported.
A CBRE report on emerging industrial markets released in the spring noted that the Texas I-35 industrial corridor continues to grow at a rapid pace. The report states that New Braunfels is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, attracting many manufacturing and distribution users. With the influx of new residents and business relocations, robust industrial activity is expected to continue.