Why Continental’s board signed off on cutting or shifting 30,000 jobs


Continental’s supervisory board approved a reorganization plan that the German car supplier said earlier this month will affect 30,000 jobs worldwide.

The supplier said it’s considering asset sales as it deepens a restructuring started last year. Measures to revive profits were rendered insufficient when the COVID-19 pandemic pummeled global car production and weighed on prospects for the industry.

Continental said Sept. 1 it planned to cut or transfer as much as 13 percent of its workforce to reduce costs by at least 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) a year. Some 90 percent of the restructuring measures, which could affect 30,000 jobs, should be implemented by 2025.

The company’s domestic operations will be hit hard, with about 13,000 positions moved to other areas or eliminated. Continental employs about 232,000 people worldwide, including 59,000 in Germany.

The supplier has been reluctant so far to provide an outlook for the full year, citing persistent market uncertainty. It doesn’t anticipate the global market returning to 2017 levels until the middle of the decade and has shelved plans to spin off of its powertrain division Vitesco Technologies until markets improve.

Continental ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of top 100 global suppliers, with fiscal 2019 sales to automakers of $35.3 billion.

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