AUBURN HILLS — Auburn Hills city officials Monday announced that City Council had approved the expansion of Continental Automotive Systems Inc. at its Auburn Hills sites.
The company, the third largest auto supplier in North America, is a subsidiary of Continental AG in Hanover, Germany. It sought approval to expand the Company’s South Campus building at 2400 Executive Hills to 213,296 square feet to accommodate the need for additional office and vehicle laboratory testing space for new and continuing automaker projects.
Continental Automotive occupies three buildings in Auburn Hills, where it employs about 1,500 people. The building addition approved by the Auburn Hills Planning Commission is part of a comprehensive expansion initiative which includes a separate $1.5 million interior renovation project at its Auburn Hills North building at One Continental Drive. Both projects combined are expected to increase the company’s employment in Auburn Hills to almost 1,800 people.
The South Campus building houses employees with the company’s automotive powertrain and interior divisions, which develop products for reducing CO2 emissions, optimizing fuel consumption for diesel and gasoline engines, and improving vehicle control and handling. The new investment in the south campus is estimated at $4.8 million and 170 new staff are expected to be added at this location. Continental anticipates that about 95 percent of the new jobs will be full-time engineers.
In April 2012, the Michigan Manufacturers Directory reported that Auburn Hills was ranked third in the state behind Grand Rapids and Detroit for industrial employment, with 23,024 industrial workers in the city.
“A few years back, many naysayers questioned the future of the automotive industry and its supplier base, but Continental has really showed its long-term strength, knowledge base and solid market position with this expansion,” said Auburn Hills city manager Pete Auger. “It is among several other automotive suppliers such as Borg Warner, U.S. Farathane, Delta Technologies, Henniges Automotive, and Jabil Circuit that are committed to Auburn Hills and the automotive industry.”
Continental Automotive Systems has 14 business units in its portfolio, with offerings ranging from safety systems and powertrain products to instrument displays. The bulk of Continental Automotive’s Michigan employees work at the Auburn Hills headquarters campus, with smaller offices in Troy and Dearborn.