Continental posted healthy sales of €39.4 billion in 2022 (vs €33.8 billion in 2021 and €31.9 billion in 2020), but is looking to simplify and streamline its automotive business with the aim of reducing annual costs by €400 million from 2025, and increasing its competitiveness. A broad range of measures are being implemented across all parts of the organisation, at all levels. The measure will include a loss of staff, which Continental expected to be in the ‘mid four-digit range’ at the Automotive division.
The company is also examining additional measures to increase efficiency in the R&D area of the Automotive business. As part of the strategy to streamline the business structure of Automotive, the Smart Mobility division will be dissolved. The Automotive business will be consolidated into five business areas instead of the previous six, comprising Architecture and Networking, Autonomous Mobility, Safety and Motion, Software and Central Technologies, and User Experience. A comprehensive strategy update for the sector will be detailed at Continental’s Capital Markets Day on 4th December, 2023.
“Our goal is to create a sustainably profitable sector that can invest in its future from its own resources. With the adjustments to our structure, we bring technology solutions to those business areas where we see synergies. This will allow us to respond even better to market requirements,” stated Philipp von Hirschheydt, executive board member at Continental and head of its Automotive division.
“These initial measures are important for improving the competitiveness of the Automotive sector. We will now tackle them step by step and continue to implement them. Simplifying structures and reducing functions is essential for our successful future. To significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness, we are looking at all functions and processes without reservations, from sales to research and from development to production. We are also entering discussions with the social partners to identify suitable measures,” he added.
As part of the transition phase in 2024, parts of the previous Smart Mobility business area will be reallocated and managed in other Automotive business areas based on natural overlaps. The new allocation will focus on three businesses: commercial vehicle electronics and services for the management of commercial vehicle fleets, actuator solutions for passenger cars (door or sunroof controls for example), and the automotive aftermarket business.
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.