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Continental plans thousands of job cuts in auto division

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© FILE PHOTO: A car wheel with a badge showing the logo of German tyre company Continental, pictured before the company’s annual news conference in Hanover, Germany, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN () -German car parts manufacturer Continental said on Monday it would cut thousands of jobs in its automotive division worldwide as part of a plan to save 400 million euros ($428 million) a year from 2025.

The exact number of job cuts was not immediately clear, but it will amount to the “mid-four-digit range”, the company said.

The news comes amid ongoing reports that Continental plans a restructuring and potential sell-offs, with CEO Nikolai Setzer saying in September he was considering a change in ownership of the company’s ContiTech division.

The works council of the automotive division urged the company in an internal statement seen by to rule out outright dismissals and use all possible measures to keep its workforce on, from part-time retirement for older workers to retraining and reallocating staff.

The group’s main businesses are making tires, the auto division, which produces software, safety features and autonomous driving technology, and a third division making digital technologies for autos and other sectors called ContiTech.

German business publication Manager Magazin reported the planned cuts in the automotive division on Sunday, saying they could number around 5,500, more than 1,100 of which would be at the company’s 30 locations in Germany.

The group employed around 200,000 people in 57 countries and markets as of the end of 2022.

Continental’s statement on Monday did not confirm the figure reported by Manager Magazin but said planned cuts will focus on simplifying and streamlining its business and administrative structure via a range of measures across everything from sales to research and development to production.

The number of business areas within the division will be reduced from six to five, with the Smart Mobility segment dissolved and allocated into other areas.

Continental will provide a full strategy update at its capital markets day on Dec. 4, the statement said.

Last week the company reported that the automotive business returned to profit in the third quarter and predicted a strong quarter ahead. However, it also said demand for passenger cars would grow more slowly next year.

($1 = 0.9347 euros)

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