Continental Plans to Strengthen R&D in its Automotive Sector

Continental Plans to Strengthen R&D in its Automotive Sector

Plans include streamlining development locations and leveraging synergies in work processes by the end of 2025.

Continental has announced further measures aimed at bolstering the competitiveness of its Automotive group sector. The initiatives focus on enhancing the efficiency of the sector’s global research and development network, with plans to streamline development locations and leverage synergies in work processes by the end of 2025.

The efficiency measures are expected to impact approximately 1,750 jobs worldwide, including 380 at software subsidiary Elektrobit. Continental aims to implement these adjustments gradually and in a socially responsible manner, taking into account local conditions, the company said.

Philipp von Hirschheydt, Continental executive board member and head of Automotive, emphasized the company’s commitment to finding tailored solutions for affected employees in collaboration with social partners. These initiatives are part of the “Lead – Focus – Perform” strategy introduced in December 2023, which aims to enhance long-term competitiveness through improved processes and a focus on growth areas.

As part of the strategy, Continental plans to reduce its expenditure on research and development (R&D ratio) to less than 10 percent of sales in the medium term, with a target of 9 percent by 2028. Despite the reduction in the R&D ratio, the company anticipates an increase in absolute expenditure on research and development based on expected sales growth.

Von Hirschheydt highlighted the importance of research and development in driving innovation and growth, noting that increasing efficiency and pooling R&D activities will enhance collaboration and shorten development times. The company plans to focus its resources on future technologies for software-defined vehicles in the medium term.

In addition to the R&D measures, Continental is simplifying and streamlining its business and administrative structures to reduce costs by €400 million per year from 2025. These efforts will affect around 5,400 jobs worldwide and will be implemented with a focus on social responsibility.

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