Supervisory Board of Continental AG Agrees to Next Phase of Strategic Realignment

Supervisory Board of Continental AG Agrees to Next Phase of Strategic Realignment

• Systems for advanced driver assistance and automated driving: independent  “Autonomous Mobility” business area from January 1, 2022 

• CEO Nikolai Setzer: “We are implementing our strategy with determination. Accordingly,  we are investing in our growth areas and future technologies, seizing market  opportunities, enhancing our capacity to respond and providing for greater  transparency.” 

• Vitesco Technologies: green light for spin-off and subsequent stock market listing this  year 

• Supervisory Board chairman Prof. Wolfgang Reitzle: “We are turning one global  champion for sustainable mobility into two.” 

• Change to Executive Board: Philip Nelles, head of Mobile Fluid Systems, to assume  responsibility for ContiTech from Hans-Jürgen Duensing on June 1, 2021, who is leaving  the company at his own request  

Hanover: In its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of Continental AG agreed to  an important next phase of the strategic realignment of the mobility supplier. It supports the future organizational realignment of the business with systems for advanced driver assistance and  automated driving. From January 1, 2022, the business is to be elevated to the independent  “Autonomous Mobility” business area within the Automotive Technologies group sector. Its core will  consist of the current Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) business unit.  

“We are implementing our strategy with determination. Accordingly, we are investing in our growth  areas and future technologies, seizing market opportunities, enhancing our capacity to respond  and providing for greater transparency,” explained Continental CEO Nikolai Setzer. He added:  “The autonomous mobility market will more than double in the next three years. Owing to the  strategic significance of the necessary technologies and their promising growth prospects, we are  intensifying our focus here by creating new structures to research, develop and industrialize these  technologies. This also enables us to provide all of our business areas with the additional freedom  to concentrate even more on their core areas.” 

As part of the publication of its preliminary annual figures on March 9, 2021, the company  announced that it would be spending an additional sum of around €200 million to €250 million on  developing its technologies for assisted and autonomous driving this year alone. Its aim here is to  fully exploit the attractive opportunities that continue to arise from the rapid development of these  markets and turn them into profitable growth. 

Setzer commented: “We already have a strong position in this area. We are expanding this position  extensively, giving our activities in the area a big boost and gaining momentum as a top team in  the autonomous mobility market. At the same time, we are opening ourselves up even more to  potential large-scale cooperation with technology partners and start-up companies. After all, our  goal is and will continue to be global technology leadership when it comes to assisted and  automated driving.”  

In the years 2018 to 2020 alone, Continental received orders in this area totaling more than €9  billion from customers worldwide. The mobility supplier intends to increase this amount  substantially, as the potential scope of supply will go up in value many times over in the coming  years as the degree of vehicle automation grows. 

“It is software that will clearly make the difference in the future. Its development and  industrialization require that we have extremely short response times and the utmost flexibility as  well as agile, interdisciplinary cooperation within our organization and with our external partners in  all regions,” Setzer explained. 

Green light for the spin-off of Vitesco Technologies 

The Supervisory Board approved the planned spin-off and subsequent stock market listing of  Vitesco Technologies. Subject to the approval of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on April 29,  2021, the company continues to strive for the spin-off of the powertrain business in the second half  of 2021.  

“Today we gave the green light to continue proceedings aimed at establishing the entrepreneurial  independence of Vitesco Technologies. If the shareholders agree, we will turn one global  champion into two in the future – each in their own area. Vitesco Technologies is a trailblazer in the  field of powertrain electrification, and Continental is a pioneer for connected, safe and sustainable  mobility. With this step, both technology companies will be able to achieve their full potential,” said  Prof. Wolfgang Reitzle, chairman of the Supervisory Board, commenting on the board’s resolution. 

Change to the Executive Board: Philip Nelles to succeed Hans-Jürgen Duensing In a further resolution today, the Supervisory Board appointed Philip Nelles (46), head of the  Mobile Fluid Systems business unit in the ContiTech business area, to the Executive Board of  Continental AG, effective June 1, 2021. He will be responsible for the ContiTech business area,  succeeding Hans-Jürgen Duensing (62), whose appointment will end prematurely on May 31,  2021, for personal reasons at his own request after more than 35 years at the company. He has  been a member of the Executive Board since May 1, 2015. His Executive Board appointment had  been extended in September 2017 until the end of April 2023.  

“We are pleased to hand over the responsibility for our ContiTech business area to Philip Nelles,  an experienced executive with long-standing success in our company. My colleagues on the  Supervisory Board and I wish him all the best and much success in his new duties,” said Reitzle,  adding: “At the same time, we would like to express our deep gratitude to his predecessor Hans Jürgen Duensing for his many years of valuable service and his contribution to Continental’s value  creation. We regret his departure from the company, as he consistently displayed outstanding  expertise, commitment, integrity and loyalty in all of his various managerial positions. We are losing  an impressive manager who always had the overall success of Continental firmly in mind.”  

ContiTech is one of the world’s leading industrial specialists in intelligent, high-performance plastic  and rubber solutions. “In the past years, Hans-Jürgen Duensing accelerated and expanded the  transformation of this business area with a high level of concentration, aligning it on a course of  higher profitable growth. By doing so, he played a decisive role in making Continental one of the  winners of the current industrial transformation,” said Setzer of Duensing’s achievements.  

“In the past six years, Hans-Jürgen Duensing intensified the digitalization of products and the  expansion of the business with services for various industries, in addition to the integration of  companies that had been acquired. On behalf of the entire Executive Board team, I thank him for  his successful work and wish him all the best for the future,” Setzer said, adding: “For the future  viability of an organization, it is crucial that it has a systematic succession and development plan  for its executives. That is why I am so pleased that Philip Nelles is joining our ranks on the  Executive Board. He knows our ContiTech business inside and out, thanks to his own experience  from various standpoints since starting his career. On behalf of our entire Executive Board team, I  wish him the best of success.” 

After graduating with an engineering management degree in 2000, Philip Nelles began his career  at Continental as a trainee in the current ContiTech business area, where he held various  management positions in the Mobile Fluid Systems business unit in Germany, Sweden and  Hungary until the end of 2009. From 2010 to 2015, he headed the global Automotive Original  Equipment segment in ContiTech’s Power Transmission Group business unit. From mid-2015 to  2018, he was in charge of this business unit, before assuming responsibility for the Mobile Fluid  Systems business unit within ContiTech. Philip Nelles is married and has four children.  

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people  and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable  solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Continental generated preliminary sales of €37.7  billion in 2020 and currently employs more than 235,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the  company celebrates its 150th anniversary.