Continental CEO says need to look beyond Europe more
ERJ staff report (BC)
Berlin – German tire maker Continental AG is banking on growth outside Europe to help offset continued weakness in its home region, Klaus Lauer reported for Reuters.
"We have to concentrate more on growth opportunities outside of Europe," Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart told Reuters on the sidelines of a logistics industry conference on 23 October, adding that he did not expect a quick economic recovery in Europe.
Continental is investing in adding tire production capacity in fast-growing markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. For instance, it opened a new plant in Heifei, China in 2011 and is adding a production site in Russia's Kaluga.
But Degenhart is reported as saying that there was still room for improvement in some emerging markets, citing sluggish political reforms in India, delays to major projects in Brazil and Russia's increasing reliance on the oil sector.
"When the price (of oil) is good, Russia booms. When it goes down, Russia stagnates," he said.
Degenhart affirmed Continental's 2013 targets for sales of €34 billion ($47 billion) and an operating profit margin of more than 10 percent.
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