18, Oct 2023
Continental Appoints Christopher Marsh as the New Head of Surface Solutions Business in India
Pune, India, October 18, 2023: Christopher Marsh took charge as the head of the Surface Solutions business and the Pune Plant in India on October 01, 2023. He succeeds Landry Tchapda who now at the end of his assignment has been assigned another responsibility within the organization and is moving onward to Australia.
Prashanth Doreswamy, President and CEO, of Continental India said, “Continental welcomes Chris and wishes him the very best for his new role. His extensive experience in both global and local markets renders him a highly valuable asset to our company. As we continue to pursue excellence in our manufacturing endeavors, we are confident that Chris will play a pivotal role in guiding the business area toward greater success. We look forward to his leadership and contributions as we build on our commitment to delivering high-quality solutions to our valued customers.” He further added, “Continental extends its sincere gratitude to Landry Tchapda for his invaluable contributions since the inception of the Greenfield Plant. We wishhimthe bestfor his future endeavors.”
Speaking on the appointment, Christopher Marsh, Head of Surface Solutions business area, ContinTech India, said, “I am truly delighted to join the Continental family and embark on this exciting new role. It is both a privilege and an honor to be associated with such a distinguished organization, and I eagerly anticipate collaborating closely with the exceptional team here in India. As India is an important market, my aim is to contribute significantly to our business growth, and further advance the company’s localization efforts. Leveraging my extensive experience, my goal is to strengthen the company’s sustainability initiatives and chart a strategic path for growth, both for India as well as global markets.”
With extensive experience of over 15 years in the automotive manufacturing industry, Chris has worked for organizations such as Dana Axle and Jaguar Land Rover, which moved from the UK in 2018 to Pune, supporting Jaguar Land Rovers’ strategic India Operations. With various leadership roles and his understanding of the Indian market, he will be instrumental in expanding the business areas existing connections, and operations in the country. His degree in Supply Chain Management and prior experience will aid him in further building on the company’s localization efforts, exploring the scope of the export market while establishing a sustainable, strategic, and sensible roadmap for the country.
Landry Tchapda assumed his role as the Head of the Surface Solutions business and the Pune Plant in 2018 with the announcement of the groundbreaking ceremony. In his five-year assignment, he was responsible for the greenfield establishment, the inauguration of the plant, and building the customer portfolio. He was also instrumental in establishing production and sales objectives and setting a remarkable exposure for the business.
ContiTech’s Greenfield Project
Continental’s group sector, ContiTech set up the Pune Plant in 2018 to manufacture surface materials for passenger vehicles as well as 2-wheelers. The groundbreaking ceremony of the plant took place in the year 2018 and it was inaugurated in April 2022 under the leadership of Landry Tchapda. With an initial investment of about 2 billion Indian Rupee (more than 20 million Euro) which covered facilities and machinery, Continental produces premium surface materials for car interiors, including electric vehicles, as well as 2-wheeler seats, mainly catering to the domestic market and exports.
The 149,000 square feet (approx. 14,000 square meters) manufacturing facility, has an annual capacity of five million square meters of surface material which can be scaled up to 10 million square meters. The products produced offer both, luxury and comfort to the customers, improving the overall driving experience. Continental’s surface solutions come with the guarantee of state-of-the-art quality and a heritage of more than 300 years in the industry.
With a tactical approach to the Indian market, the Greenfield Plant is strategically located in Pune targeting automotive hubs in the south. The Plant serves as a suitable location for export markets through OEMs and adds to Continental’s overall plan for investment in India. Leveraging a highly skilled workforce and state-of-the-art technology, the plant offers world-class production capabilities that are designed to seamlessly meet the diverse needs of the customers. The infrastructure encompasses storage, logistics, purchasing, and sales, all expertly coordinated with allocated resources and capacities for cutting-edge laboratories, design, and product development. Continental is committed to the Indian market and aims to further expand its business in the country.
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2022, Continental generated sales of €39.4 billion and currently employs around 200,000 people in 57 countries and markets.
Continental has been present in India for close to 50 years through technology partnerships (Continental Tires since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. Today, the tier 1 automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner operate across India – with about 9000 employees across 12 locations, including seven plants that cater to the Indian market and a Technical Centre that supports Continental’s global R&D activities.