Continental to Boost R&D Efficiency, Reduce Headcount

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Continental, a global leader in automotive manufacturing, has announced significant measures to enhance the efficiency of its Automotive group sector’s research and development (R&D) network. Aimed at bolstering long-term competitiveness, these initiatives will streamline operations, reduce costs, and shorten development times for high-growth future technologies.

By the end of 2025, Continental plans to consolidate its current 82 development locations, better utilize existing infrastructures through the pooling of development units, and leverage synergies in work processes. This strategic move will impact approximately 1,750 jobs worldwide, including 380 positions at its software subsidiary, Elektrobit. The company is committed to implementing these adjustments gradually and in a socially responsible manner, taking into account local conditions.

See also: Continental Unveils Mid-term Growth Strategy

In addition to these changes, Continental is considering the consolidation of locations in the Rhine-Main region. Executive Board member and head of Automotive, Philipp von Hirschheydt, emphasized the company’s commitment to its employees, stating, “We are aware of the impact on our employees and will do everything we can to find good, tailored solutions together with our social partners.”

These efforts are part of Continental’s “Lead – Focus – Perform” strategy, unveiled in December 2023, which seeks to enhance efficiency, foster closer collaboration, and concentrate on key growth areas. The company aims to reduce its R&D expenditure ratio to below 10 percent of sales in the medium term, a significant decrease from the 12 percent expected in 2023, setting a specific target of 9 percent by 2028.

Von Hirschheydt further highlighted the importance of R&D in driving innovation and growth, stating, “By increasing efficiency and pooling our research and development activities, we will enhance collaboration, leverage synergies and shorten development times – and thus improve our long-term competitiveness.”

Additionally, Continental announced plans in November 2023 to simplify and streamline its business and administrative structures, aiming to cut costs by €400 million annually from 2025. This initiative will affect around 5,400 jobs worldwide, with the company prioritizing a socially responsible implementation approach.

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The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.