Combustion engines took a hard hit this year when U.S. partsmaker Delphi said it would spin off its powertrain operations from the rest of the company. Continental powertrain boss Jose Avila doesn't expect the same to happen to his division. The reason is that he says his unit already is winning more electronics-related business than many of its rivals. Avila explained why in an interview with Automotive News Europe Managing Editor Douglas A. Bolduc.
Delphi has spun off its powertrain division. Is Continental next?
You have to react to what's going on in the business world, but we don't foresee that at the moment. Powertrain continues to be fully in the fold. We have some advantages, for instance, our percentage of electronics business is much higher than our competitors.
How dependent is your division on electronics?
Half of our sales come from electronics products [this includes actuators, controllers and mechatronic modules] and it will be even more in the future.
In what other areas?
One area is the domain controller, which acts as a supervisor to the other controllers. That means we are doing the next controller that, hierarchically, has more authority. We have booked business here. The electronics continue to be churned every four years or so as they are upgraded. This is a great fit for us because content is going up and these controllers are more sophisticated. While we're still going to grow with our mechanical and hydraulic products for the next four or five years, the electronics side is growing faster.