Auto Electronics

Continental commences Siemens VDO integration

Continental AG has organized itself into six divisions following its acquisition of Siemens VDO. The divisions are Chassis & Safety, Powertrain, Interior, Passenger and Light Truck Tires, Commercial Vehicle Tires, and ContiTech, which specializes in non-tire rubber and plastics technology.

The three divisions with a significant electronics focus accounted for €16 billion of €25.1 billion total sales in 2006. Those divisions employ more than 87,000 people in more than 200 locations worldwide. The Chassis & Safety division, headed by Dr. Ralf Cramer, is involved in networking active and passive safety systems. The powertrain division, under Dieter Rogge, offers sensors, actuators, and other powertrain, hybrid, and engine management products and systems. The interior division, led by Helmut Matschi, is responsible for vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-infrastructure integration systems as well as technology that provides links between the vehicle and the driver and passengers.

Executive board chairman Manfred Wennemer estimated that it will take Continental "another two to three months” to make a series of key decisions. On the basis of planning to date, Continental anticipates net synergy effects in the order of at least €170 million as of 2010. "The amount will presumably be higher,” Wennemer said.

Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, executive board member in charge of corporate-wide technological development and the new Chassis & Safety and Powertrain divisions, said the new Continental will be able to profit in special measure from future key auto industry trends: "Our innovative force and core competence cover precisely those automotive industry megatrends that will clearly dominate the upcoming years--safety, sustainability and Information."

Dr. Neumann said that in the Chassis & Safety division, Continental will integrate brake systems, sensors and chassis components to form a safety concept called ContiGuard “that will make for zero crashes and injuries in the future.”

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