Continental delays autonomous investments in cost cut drive

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German auto parts supplier Continental CONG.DE said it was postponing investments as its operating profit plunged by 47% in the first quarter, hit by coronavirus lockdowns which caused a 25% drop in global car production

New information technology projects, or plans to expand production capacity at factories have been put on hold, as well as some investments into self-driving technologies, the company said.

“If you delay autonomous investments for level 4 and level 5 capability by six months, you have not lost the market, since this market will only emerge in 10 years,” Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Schaefer told Reuters.

Upon being asked whether Continental faced liquidity problems and may apply for state-backed loans, Schaefer said, “No.”

Reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt and Jan Schwartz in Hamburg; editing by Thomas Seythal