Happy birthday, Continental. The German tyre maker and technology company is 150 years old today, making it one of the oldest companies both in Germany and within the automotive business. One and a half centuries after starting out as a maker of rubber products for horse-drawn vehicles, the firm still specialises in the latest modes of transport and is positioning itself to meet future challenges.
Continental has initiated a restructure of its management following a meeting of its Supervisory Board on Thursday. Board members Helmut Matschi and Frank Jourdan will leave the company prematurely. Matschi (58) and Jourdan (61) were originally to stay in position until 2024. As of January 1, 2022, the company will retain only five board members. The group will also integrate its activities into three corporate divisions: Automotive, Tires and ContiTech.
Tyre production at the Continental plant in Aachen, Germany will cease at the end of next year, if not earlier. This is one of the outcomes of talks between the company and representatives of Aachen plant employees. Continental has also published details of upcoming retraining programmes.
As of the 2020 fiscal year, Continental is procuring all of the electricity for its production sites around the world from renewable energy sources. Confirmation of this milestone comes via a reasonable assurance report by auditor KPMG.
Confronting one’s past can be a taxing experience, all the more so when this past includes one of history’s darkest hours. But this is exactly what tyre maker and automotive systems company Continental is doing in the run-up to its 150th anniversary – it is looking back more than three-quarters of a century to examine the firm’s role within the Nazi system and in Hitler’s war. Continental’s review of its involvement with the National Socialist government in Germany is being supported by the findings of an independent academic study, which was presented this morning.
The entire automotive industry has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and companies are taking steps to ensure their survival. Continental has provided an update on the latest measures being implemented, including reduced working hours and displays of executive solidarity. It has also buried its outlook for 2020.
The foundation stone for Continental’s new headquarters in Hannover, Germany is now in place, and the company says its construction project is on schedule. Chief executive officer Dr Elmar Degenhart and Executive Board members Dr Ariane Reinhart and Wolfgang Schäfer hosted a ceremony to mark the occasion at the construction site last Wednesday.
At its meeting on 13 December, the Continental AG Supervisory Board approved a five-year contract extension for Dr Ariane Reinhart, the company’s head of human resources and labour relations. Her tenure in the role is now secure up to September 2022.
Starting in September, Continental will introduce a new programme that will train “young people who are passionate about IT” to become automotive software developers. According to Ariane Reinhart, the tyre and automotive systems manufacturer’s Executive Board member in charge of human resources, the training programme will be based in Germany and involve close collaboration between Continental’s various divisions.
Dr Ariane Reinhart (44) assumed her post as Executive Board Member for Human Resources at Continental AG today (1 October), raising the company’s executive board to nine members. The supervisory board of automotive supplier/tyre manufacturer appointed Dr. Reinhart during a meeting on 25 April 2014. Her contract runs for three years.
The abrupt end of Elke Strathmann’s career at Continental AG was made public earlier this month, and the company announced today that Strathmann has already relinquished her seat on its Executive Board. Dr. Ariane Reinhart has been named as Continental’s new Executive Board member for human resources and director of labour relations.