Continental Announces New Market-Oriented Realignment
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Continental Announces New Market-Oriented Realignment

Automotive Technologies group sector (from 2022: Automotive) to be comprehensively realigned according to strategic action fields; focus on customer requirements and market development Tires and ContiTech to become independent group sectors.

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Executive Board to be reduced in size: Helmut Matschi and Frank Jourdan will step down from the Executive Board earlier than planned

Hanover, September 30, 2021. 

At a meeting held Sept. 30, the Supervisory Board of Continental AG approved further adjustments to the structure of the Continental Group with a focus on market developments and customer requirements. The Executive Board decided on the organizational changes in September 2021 in view of the transformation of the mobility industry. Following the successful spin-off of Vitesco Technologies in mid-September 2021 and the decision taken in March 2021 to create the Autonomous Mobility and Safety and Motion business areas, this is the next logical step in accelerating the strategic realignment of the company, says Supervisory Board chairman Professor Wolfgang Reitzle.

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“In the future, Continental will be supported by three strong, equally represented and independent group sectors. This will accelerate its strategic realignment and position the company in an agile, market-oriented and future-oriented manner with respect to the transformation of the mobility industry,” said Reitzle after the Supervisory Board meeting in Hanover on Thursday.

“In our anniversary year, we have set the strategic course for the next successful chapter in our company’s history. We see the profound structural transformation in the mobility industry as an opportunity and are well-positioned for this with our new structure. By reducing complexity and increasing our speed and transparency, we are once again demonstrating our ability to adapt,” said Continental CEO Setzer, explaining the reasons for the structural changes and adding: “We are pooling our expertise, particularly when it comes to software. This will benefit our customers. As a result, I firmly believe we will emerge as winners from the transformation of the mobility industry.”

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Market-Oriented Realignment As Of Jan. 1, 2022

With effect beginning Jan. 1, 2022, the Tires and ContiTech business areas (currently consolidated in the Rubber Technologies group sector) will become independent group sectors and will continue to be led by Executive Board members Christian Kötz and Philip Nelles.

At the same time, Continental will comprehensively realign the Automotive Technologies group sector (as of 2022: Automotive). The technology company will create five dynamic, flexible business areas whose future structure will be geared to the strategic action fields and market development of Automotive Technologies. Nikolai Setzer will continue to be responsible for this group sector on the Executive Board, in addition to his function as CEO of Continental. When the new structure comes into effect, Helmut Matschi (58) and Frank Jourdan (61) will step down from the Executive Board earlier than planned (both appointed until March 2024). As a result of their departure and the spin-off of Vitesco Technologies, the Executive Board of Continental AG will consist of five members as of Jan. 1, 2022.

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“On behalf of all members of the Supervisory Board, I would like to thank Helmut Matschi and Frank Jourdan for their many years of successful work. Both have contributed significantly to the development of Continental into one of the most successful automotive suppliers. At the same time, they have prepared their business areas for the technological transformation,” said Reitzle.

“We owe our strong technological position in connected and automated driving to the outstanding commitment of Helmut Matschi and Frank Jourdan. With their strategic vision, they have actively contributed to our new structure. On behalf of the entire Executive Board team, I would like to thank them for this as well as for their successful work and their deep commitment to Continental and its values over many years,” added Setzer.

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Unique Technology Position For Automated And Connected Mobility

“Mobility of the future is sustainable, automated and connected. In the future, vehicles will have a variety of powerful senses. They will speak the same language and communicate with their environment and the driver, their neural pathways will be highly responsive and seamlessly interconnected, and a central intelligence system will steer them reliably and safely to their destination in all situations,” said Setzer, explaining the key strategic action fields in Automotive Technologies and adding: “We are consistently aligning our Automotive Technologies group sector with long-term technology and market trends and thus with our strategic action fields. We are thus making the most of the potential presented by our unique strong technology position in all of these fields. As a mobility supplier and technology integrator, Continental will play a decisive role in the development and industrialization of the innovations required for this.”

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Comprehensive Organizational Adjustment Of The Automotive Technologies Group Sector

The realignment of Automotive Technologies involves the dissolution of the two business areas Vehicle Networking and Information as well as Autonomous Mobility and Safety. The associated business units will be reorganized into five business areas based on the group sector’s strategic action fields. The substructure will be consolidated within Automotive.

Three new business areas will be created from the Vehicle Networking and Information business area: Architecture and Networking, User Experience and Smart Mobility. They will combine their respective business activities around connectivity technologies and high-performance computers, display and operating technologies, and mobility services and services for fleet operators and commercial vehicle manufacturers.

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In March 2021, the Supervisory Board already approved the Executive Board’s resolution to create the two business areas Autonomous Mobility as well as Safety and Motion at the turn of the year. These will emerge from the Autonomous Mobility and Safety business area. They will combine the business for advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving and the business activities related to safety electronics, sensors, and brake and chassis systems.

Taking effect on Jan. 1, 2022, the Automotive group sector will thus consist of the following business areas:

  • Safety and Motion 
  • Autonomous Mobility
  • Smart Mobility
  • User Experience
  • Architecture and Networking

As part of the realignment of Automotive Technologies, the overarching advanced engineering organization he[a]t (Holistic Engineering and Technologies) under the leadership of future chief technology officer (CTO) Gilles Mabire will be strengthened from Jan. 1, 2022. It will take over the central development of the Vehicle Networking and Information business area in order to support development projects across all strategic action fields, such as the development of high-performance computers.

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Central functions will also be assigned direct, comprehensive responsibility at the automotive level. In addition to functions such as Sales, Finance & Controlling, Quality, HR and Communications, this will also apply to operational business functions such as Purchasing, IT, Supply Chain Management, Sustainability and Manufacturing, which will be consolidated under the umbrella of Operations. Among other things, this is intended to address the strategic implications of the changes in connected supply chains.

Continental Executive Board To Be Reduced In Size On Jan. 1, 2022

As a result of the reorganization, the Executive Board of Continental AG will comprise the following five members from January 1, 2022:

  • Nikolai Setzer, chairman of the Executive Board and chairman of the Automotive Board (appointed until March 2024)
  • Wolfgang Schäfer, member of the Executive Board, responsible for Finance and Controlling, Compliance, Law and IT (appointed until December 2024)
  • Dr. Ariane Reinhart, member of the Executive Board, responsible for Human Relations and Sustainability (appointed until September 2022)
  • Christian Kötz, member of the Executive Board, responsible for the future Tires group sector and Group Purchasing (appointed until April 2027)
  • Philip Nelles, member of the Executive Board, responsible for the future ContiTech group sector (appointed until May 2024)

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