Continental cites the persistently low global vehicle production and the worsening of the economic crisis due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the reasons for the austerity measures. The company does not expect a return to the pre-crisis level of 2017 before 2025.
"The entire automotive industry is currently facing enormous challenges. None of its crises of the past 70 years has been bigger or sharper," said Continental's CEO Elmar Degenhart. "It is already demanding a great deal from us in the short term, and it is challenging us to the utmost for years to come.
According to the CEO, the company must now focus all its energies on developing future technologies in order to return to growth.
All business units including those at the headquarters and at all locations in Germany and abroad are contributing to the targeted savings and optimizations. The strategy includes the consolidation of tasks from production, research and development at the most competitive locations worldwide as well as portfolio adjustments.
In addition, the company is pushing ahead with the automation of its processes, for example through technologies such as Industry 4.0, as well as increasing flexibility of work and reducing labor costs. Furthermore, the sale of unprofitable business units is planned. The company did not initially announce which divisions might be affected by this. In addition, activities with high structural costs are likely to be relocated to more favorable regions and plants with low capacity utilization will be closed.