The US auto market is finally bouncing back – at least in the eyes of Samir Salman, CEO of Continental’s North American Automotive operations. And that could be good news for suppliers hoping to find a market for next-generation safety technology, he says.
“We initially thought the rebound that we’re seeing now might have taken three to four years,” Salman said, “but the current 11.5-million unit production level is encouraging.”
While discussing new technologies that Continental has ready for production, Salman said that he expects the rebound to continue into 2011 with 12.5 – 13 million units produced.
“Compared to 2009 sales of 8.5 million, things are looking pretty good, but we’ve got a long way to go. We expect that sustainable sales of 15 – 16 million units are possible in the next three to five years.”
TheDetroitBureau.com had the opportunity to speak with Salman as Continental showed American and European journalists new safety-related products from three of the supplier’s divisions; Chassis and Safety, Powertrain and Interior. (Continental’s tire operations, the highest-grossing in the group, were not included.)