Continental sees second quarter as weakest quarter for auto sector since 1945

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Auto supplier Continental CONG.DE said the auto industry slump, triggered by the shutdown of car factories and showrooms in the wake of the corona pandemic, will be the worst seen by the sector since 1945.

“The second quarter is just behind us. It will be the historically weakest quarter for the auto industry since 1945,” Continental Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said, according to a transcript of his speech due to be held at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on July 14.

Degenhard also forecast a “very difficult” third quarter, with revenues seen higher than during the second quarter, but remaining significantly below the year-earlier period.

Continental has cut investment spending by 20% and extended credit limits with banks by 3 billion euros ($3.38 billion) to help weather the economic slump caused by the coronavirus crisis, the transcript showed.

Continental expects to achieve annual cost savings of around 500 million euros from 2023 onwards.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Riham Alkousaa