UVALDE, Texas (Oct. 23, 2015) — Continental A.G. has added a dry handling track at its Uvalde proving grounds and has plans to expand its Contidrom testing facility near the company's headquarters in Hannover, Germany.
The Uvalde project involves a 1.8-mile long, 40-foot wide track that Conti describes as “demanding” and resembling a similar stretch at the Contidrom.
Conti did not disclose its investment in the Uvalde project, which offers opportunities to test many of its products, including tires, driver assistance systems, and components for automated driving.
The Uvalde proving grounds are used by Continental Tire the Americas, by auto makers and by tire testers from Hanover who are able to take advantage of the better weather conditions through the winter, Conti said.
In Germany, Conti is awaiting final approvals and planning permissions for the expansion of its Contidrom testing center, a company spokesman confirmed to European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sister publication of Tire Business.
The company is planning to extend its wet-handling capacities by adding a completely new track in a bid to “return a higher satisfaction rate among its customer groups”, said Alexander Bahlmann, head of Conti's passenger and light truck tires press department.
The track, he said, will have a fully-automated watering system, which makes it more sophisticated than dry tracks.
According to Mr. Bahlmann, Continental has already acquired a 20-hectare area of land adjacent to the test center, which once annexed to the current facilities, will expand the site into regions governed by three different local authorities.
Once negotiations are complete and planning permissions in place, Continental will have a better idea of when the expansion will complete.
“For now, I can only confirm that the project is to finish in the course of 2017, but until we have the final permissions in place I cannot give an exact date,” he noted.