Hanover, Germany – Continental is expanding its 2019–2029 structural programme with additional measures to cut costs and increase efficiency, the group announced 1 Sept.
The goal, it said, is to achieve gross annual savings of over €1 billion from 2023 onwards - a hike of around €500 million on its previously stated target.
Overall, Continental expects the restructuring to affect more than 30,000 jobs - via role modifications, relocations or redundancies – directly worldwide in the future.
About 13,000 of those jobs are located in Germany, and a further major portion in countries with high labour costs..
Continental currently employs more than 232,000 people worldwide, including about 59,000 in Germany.
The group originally announced measures in September 2019 that would have impacted up to 20,000 jobs worldwide, including some 7,000 in Germany.
All central functions and business units will now be impacted under the strategy, which includes “the bundling of production, R&D tasks at the most competitive locations worldwide as well as portfolio adjustments.”
Continental is also pushing ahead with the automation of its processes, with for instance Industry 4.0, as well as providing greater work flexibility and cutting labour costs.
“Furthermore, business operations that are persistently unprofitable are to be sold,” the group flatly stated.
The intensified restructuring reflects “persistently low global vehicle production as well as the deepening economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Indeed, Continental’s management does not expect vehicle production to return to the pre-crisis levels before 2025.
“The entire automotive industry is currently faced with enormous challenges. It has not experienced a larger, more severe crisis in the past 70 years,” said Continental CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart.
The crisis is hitting suppliers particularly hard, continued the CEO: “It will demand a lot from us in the short-term and push us to our limits in the coming years.
“Our aim is to maintain our position among the global elite when it comes to the providers of top technologies and top software for mobility.”
The measures, concluded Degenhart, “will give us sufficient room to manoeuvre and the vital resources we need to return to fast, profitable and sustainable growth with the relevant future technologies.”