Supplier Continental is restructuring with a view to electric mobility. As of 2020, the company will set up a new corporate umbrella called the Continental Group as a Holding for the three sections Rubber, Automotive and Powertrain.
The future tasks for the Powertrain section, headed by Andreas Wolf, will include a partial opening for investment in 2019, as well as the development of powertrains for hybrid and electric vehicles, battery development and the continuation of the current offers for combustion vehicles.
The battery tasks also include the recently announced joint venture with the Chinese battery manufacturer CITC for 48-volt battery systems. The company will also likely manufacture their own battery cells within the division, in future. The requirement for this would be an “attractive business model”. All decisions regarding battery manufacturing will likely not take place before 2020, according to Continental. Despite their partial entry to investment, Continental is also not planning to hand over control of their Powertrain division any time soon.
While the new corporate structure will be set up in 2020, the Powertrain division will become independent at the start of 2019, although the official permission from the board is still being awaited. The more autonomous structure is a reaction to the political emissions regulations incoming, which are different across the globe. A statement said that the political decision makers in Europe, North America, China, Japan, South Korea and, more recently, India, are moving at different speeds in terms of regulation. This presents a unique challenge to industry, as a certain degree of flexibility will be required in order to take part in the major global markets, addressing needs of the markets themselves, governments, societies, and of course the customers themselves.
Continental has described the restructuring initiative as one of the biggest organisational changes in the company’s history.
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