Auto Suppliers

Continental eyes revamp amid auto industry flux

Continental has moved beyond tires but is still the place where the rubber meets the road. Source: Reuters

It is fitting that a company built on rubber should prove to be infinitely flexible. Continental, a leading tire maker, has been remarkably resilient in the near century and a half since its founding in 1871 and remains today one of the world’s largest suppliers of auto components. And now the company is contemplating a more supple structure to better adapt to revolutionary changes in the industry, which may include spinning off or merging some its core operations with US competitors.

The potential restructuring was first reported by Bloomberg. Continental CFO Wolfgang Schäfer confirmed to Handelsblatt late Tuesday that the company would probably decide about possible restructuring by the middle of the year. “Perhaps what will come out of it is that we don’t need to do anything,” Mr. Schäfer said in an interview.

In looking at a restructuring, the maker of power trains and chassis as well as tires, conveyor belts and tracks for off-road vehicles is following a global trend as the automotive industry shifts its focus to electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

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