On Wednesday, Continental warned of further restructuring expenses in the fourth quarter which will impact net income, but said it expected a positive free cashflow for 2020 even after the COVID-19 pandemic hit demand.
Setzer will have no time to waste putting his experience running the company’s two key divisions to work. Continental is in the midst of a cost-cutting drive affecting as many as 30,000 jobs.
Investors are concerned Continental has not been nimble enough to keep up with the industry’s tectonic shift toward electric and self-driving vehicles.
Continental’s stock surged to an all-time high in January 2018 after the company confirmed a Bloomberg News report that it was considering options to streamline its structure. Management has made little progress since then with their review, contributing to the erasure of almost two-thirds of its market value.
Continental may spin off its Vitesco powertrain unit next year if markets continue to recover, CFO Wolfgang Schaefer said in a phone interview Wednesday. The manufacturer shelved those plans in April after the pandemic decimated production. It initially pursued a partial initial public offering.
The company plans to update investors next month on its strategy in areas from automated driving to high-performance computers for electric cars, Schaefer said. He declined to comment on a possible sale of the turbocharger business, but said in a Bloomberg Television interview that divestments are possible in the next 12 months.
Continental ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $35.3 billion during its 2019 fiscal year.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report