DETROIT – Continental Automotive Systems, the German auto supplier specializing in tires, brakes and electronics, celebrates 100 years in business at this week’s Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress.

At its booth on the show floor, the supplier served up a massive 6-ft.-by-3-ft. (1.8-m-by-0.9-m) cake – filled with cherries and a hint of Bavarian cream, for a welcomed afternoon snack.

Jeff Klei, vice president-sales and marketing for Continental Teves North America, who cut the cake, says the future looks bright for the supplier after it announced this week the acquisition of Motorola Inc.’s automotive electronics business, for $1 billion in cash.

Klei says the Motorola unit will fit nicely with Continental’s “active safety” product strategy, which combines foundation brakes and passive restraint systems with collision avoidance sensing and electronic stability control.

“Imagine, if you will, that there is a crash ahead; the road is blocked; or there is an icy patch or other obstruction in traffic, and the car ahead of you is able to see it and send a message back to the car that is following to slow down,” Klei says.

“This is where the innovation potential of integrating telematics with active and passive safety holds great promise.”

tmurphy@wardsauto.com