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Continental expects the connected car to generate additional programming demands (Photo: Continental)

Continental is looking to add about 1,500 new software developers to its global workforce in a bid to stay competitive with products that rely ever more on sophisticated IT components.

The German automotive supplier group, one of the world's largest, wants toboost the number of software developers it employs from 10,000 to 11,500 by 2015.

"For Continental, software is one of the most important components of future innovations," the company said in a press release.

Helmut Matschi, head of Continental's Interior division, said software is crucial in the drive to build energy-saving, comfortable and cost-efficient vehicles. He also said Continental's stepped up search for software engineers reflects expectations that networked cars will require more programming.

"The relevance of software for our products is increasing year by year," Matschi said.