Continental's new business areas will be called "Technology and Innovation" and "Business Development and Strategy". Technology and Innovation, led by Oliver Maiwald will focus on advanced development of powertrain technologies as well as hardware and software architectures for next-generation powertrain products. In addition, the business area will coordinate the innovation management of Continental's powertrain business. Maiwald comes from Delphi Diesel Systems (Wolfsburg, Germany) where he oversaw the company's engineering activities.
The Business Development & Strategy will have to identify market trends and to align the company's powertrain activities with customers and public authorities. The unit is led by Christopher Breitsamer who also will remain assistant of Jose Avila, Continental board member and general manager of the company's Powertrain division.
Continental is not the only company currently cranking up its powertrain business, with particular focus on electric powertrains. As recently as this week, Continental supplier and semiconductor manufacturer Infineon also has created a new department dedicated to products for automotive powertrains. Infineon's new High Power business line coordinates the chipmaker's global business with power products for electric powertrains. Manager of this new entity is Stephan Zizala who for many years oversaw Infineon's industrial and multimarket products activities.
Both moves reflect the increased significance of electronics in the automotive value chain, in particular when it comes to electric drives. This increased significance in turn valorises those participants of the automotive value chain who can contribute specific expertise in electronics.