Not all doom and gloom
On the expansion side, earlier this year Continental detailed plans to build a new manufacturing site in New Braunfels, Texas, to produce Advance Driver Assistance Systems—part of its focus on innovation and the opportunities available with the dawn of AI and EVs.
The greenfield facility will retain approximately 450 jobs in Texas and create an additional 130, Conti said this summer.
Continental Tire the Americas, citing the continuous growth of its executive staff, disclosed a $20 million investment in its Lancaster County headquarters in South Carolina for an office building for up to 400 employees.
At 88,000 square feet, the new structure will nearly double the amount of office space for Conti at the South Carolina campus.
In addition, the company is automating its processes, with the implementation of Industry 4.0 training for its global work force. Training will be offered in digitalization, plastics and rubber technology, additive manufacturing, 3D printing technologies and new drive concepts.
"The automotive industry is changing and development cycles are getting shorter," Conti said in late July.
As such, Continental established its own supercomputer for AI in late July of this year. It is operating from a data center in Frankfurt and offering computing power as well as storage to developers in locations worldwide.
AI enhances advanced driver assistance systems and makes mobility smarter and safer, bringing autonomous driving within reach of mid-term business plans.
And in early July, two major automotive OEMs made their bid to work with Continental for the production of innovative telematics and antenna solutions. Both projects build on Conti's 5G Hybrid V2X platform.
As it pertains to the ongoing restructuring, the focus on e-mobility will impact four Continental locations:
• The Roding, Germany, site that employs about 540 people in the production of hydraulic components for gasoline and diesel engines (high-pressure pumps). Closure is set for 2024, with about 320 production jobs to be affected. About 220 jobs will be transferred to "similar functional areas;"
• The Limbach-Oberfrohna, Germany, location, which employs about 940 people in the production of hydraulic injectors for gasoline engines. Closure is set for between 2023 and 2028, with 860 of those jobs to be affected. About 370 jobs will be transferred to similar areas;
• The facility in Pisa, Italy, which employs about 940 people in the production of hydraulic injectors for gasoline engines. Closure is set for between 2023 and 2028, with 500 of those jobs to be affected. About 440 jobs will be transferred to similar areas; and
• In North America, the Newport News facility, which employs about 740 people in the production of hydraulic injectors for gasoline engines. This closure was detailed pre-pandemic, in the second quarter of 2019.
In addition to the welcome news regarding e-mobility contracts, cooperatives and industry training, Conti did see an uptick for its third quarter earnings in 2020.
Its tire business reported relatively strong results for the quarter ending Sept. 30, with pre-tax operating income up nearly 18 percent on nearly flat sales driven by strong performances in China and the U.S.
Europe remained the lagging region, down 8 percent, with the key German and French markets down by 16 percent and 23 percent, respectively, according to the company.
Conti said OE sales of consumer tires were "significantly" below the comparable 2019 period, while replacement market sales of both consumer and commercial vehicle tires were below 2019 levels.
Conti received some validation for its tire segment in late June, being named a GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors during a virtual ceremony June 24.