HANNOVER (dpa-AFX) – Continental wants to bundle the development of technologies for autonomous driving in a separate business unit from next year. As of January 1, 2022, there is to be a separate field “Autonomous Mobility”, which will be anchored in the automotive supplier division. This was announced by the Dax (DAX 30) group on Tuesday in Hanover after a supervisory board meeting. The inspectors also confirmed the plans to split off the drive division via a spin-off. It is expected to merge with the outsourced company Vitesco in the second half of the year.
Assistance systems at various levels of automation – up to and including autonomous driving – are considered to be the central future technology in the automotive industry. Conti had already announced additional investments of up to a quarter of a billion euros in the current year. “The market will more than double in the next three years,” estimates CEO Nikolai Setzer. That is why they are now creating “new structures that sharpen this focus” internally.
While the past two years have been a total loss for Continental, the driver assistance area booked orders worth billions of euros. The group is changing from classic hydraulics and mechanics to more electronics, sensors and software. These areas are also necessary for automated and autonomous driving. The works council emphasized: “In the long term, both the company’s position on the market should be strengthened and employment should be stabilized.” Conti is cutting thousands of jobs in old areas.
In future, Vitesco will include the drive business – both with classic engine and transmission technology and for supplies to e-cars. If the Annual General Meeting at the end of April also approves, the way there is now free with the Supervisory Board resolution. The company does not want to undertake an initially planned partial IPO; the shares will be posted directly to the shareholders in the securities account after a listing.
In addition, the group announced a change: Philip Nelles is to succeed Hans-Jürgen Duensing as head of the Contitech plastics division in June. Duensing is leaving for personal reasons, it said./jap/DP/men
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