London – Continental Corp. expects moderate growth in the automotive market in the second half of 2019, compared to the low prior-year basis, according to ContiTech CEO Hans-Juergen Duensing.
Following the decline in the first half of 2019, Duensing said his company expects the production volume of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to be on a par with the previous year, at around 94 million vehicles.
“We generate approximately 50% of our global sales from customers in the automotive industry. Any transformation in the industry is a call for action to our organisation,” said Duensing in a Q&A.
That’s why the company started to extend its portfolio of products about two years ago.
“Specifically with regard to the automotive industry, we saw that new drive systems require other, for example smaller, drive belts or hoses,” said the ContiTech boss.
In addition to gasoline fuel lines ContiTech now provides hoses that help extended lifetime for hybrid or electric vehicles, support thermo management solutions or that are suitable for fuel cell technology.
The transformation in the automotive industry is also impacting the aftermarket and replacement parts business, said Duensing, adding workshops and garages will need to be trained for new technologies.
On Brexit – UK’s departure from the European Union set for end of October – the ContiTech boss said uncertainties “are never fruitful for business.”
“In terms of total sales, our stake in the UK is relatively limited, but we have to think of the indirect effects, which are very hard to assess,” he added.