HANNOVER, Germany — Continental A.G. management's decision to explore options for a major restructuring is being driven by transformation within the automotive industry, CEO Elmar Degenhart stated in comments made to the financial community this week.
Technology changes taking place in the automotive sector require flexibility and agility, Mr. Degenhart said, and that is why the company wants to position itself for rapid growth,
"We are currently assessing our options. A plan is yet to be finalized," Conti's top executive said in comments made during the presentation of the firm's fiscal 2017 results.
The CEO pointed to Conti's adaptability: "In the past 20 years alone," he said, "Continental has transformed from a purely tire manufacturing business and industrial partner into a global technology company."
Mr. Degenhart's comments accompanied Continental's 2017 results announcement for 2017, showing operating earnings grew 11.4 percent last year over 2016 and sales up 8.5 percent.
In a separate document posted on Conti's website, the company outlined seven strategic dimensions it sees as keys to sustainability.
- Value creation — enhancing the value of the corporation on a long-term basis;
- Regional sales balance — globally balanced sales distribution;
- Top market position — be among the three leading suppliers in all relevant markets;
- In the market for the market — high degree of localization; Conti is represented in 56 countries with production sites in 35 of them;
- Balanced customer portfolio — balance between automotive and other industries;
- Technological balance — combination of established and pioneering technologies; and
- Great people culture — an environment where employees feel free to use their creative energies; develop a culture of trust throughout the organization.
Regarding point 5, Conti elaborated, saying it is pursuing three approaches in this regard:
- investing in additional tire production capacity geared predominantly toward the end customer business;
- strengthening the automotive end customer business through customer-specific solutions and products; and
- increasing sales with industrial customers from sectors outside of the automotive industry both organically and through acquisitions.