Continental could shut plants as part of restructuring

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HAMBURG — Continental is examining whether to shut plants, including in Germany, as part of its restructuring, a spokesman for the company said on Friday after a newspaper reported that nine plants in its powertrain unit could be closed.

“It is beyond question that we are reviewing all divisions,” a spokesman for the supplier said without giving details on how many plants and jobs could be involved.

German daily Hannoversche Allgemeine, citing union sources, said Continental was planning to shut nine of the 32 production sites in its powertrain unit, which could result in the loss of 4,000 jobs.

Continental’s rubber division is also being put on review, the spokesman told Reuters.

Earlier this month Continental said it was seeking deeper cost cuts as it reported a 41 percent fall in second-quarter net profit, reflecting lower auto demand in China and steep investments for electric and autonomous cars.

“We are responding to the declining market by ensuring rigorous cost discipline and enhancing our competitiveness,” CEO Elmar Degenhart said in the company’s earnings release.

Continental ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with estimated worldwide sales to automakers of $37.8 billion in fiscal 2018.

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