The company management also wants to see the far-reaching restructuring towards software and electronics at Continental as an incentive to alleviate fears of contact with digital forms of work. “The following applies to society as a whole: You have to accompany people,” said HR Director Ariane Reinhart on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the automotive supplier’s celebration on Friday. Transformation always means major changes in the familiar and brings risks to old jobs – but it must be seen more often as a new beginning.
It is a task of politics to emphasize this more clearly, said the manager, also with a view to the exploratory talks to form a new government coalition in the federal government. “The signal should be: We want to take you all with us. It’s about building trust and reducing fears.” As soon as positive effects become more tangible, the need for digitization will also become clearer. “We are very aware of the opportunities that new technologies offer without having to forget your roots,” said Reinhart.
30,000 jobs are “changed”
The Dax group from Hanover is going through a fundamental reorientation, which is also met with criticism from a number of employees, as well as trade unionists and some politicians. Up to 30,000 jobs worldwide are to be “changed” in the current decade, as the management puts it. This includes relocations and deletions. At the same time, however, large training programs are being launched.
“Digitization is also a trailblazer for sustainability,” said Reinhart. “That is why we wish from politics: Let us draw up a common roadmap and adopt our experience from companies, from the social partners and from science.” To this end, “work packages that can be compared every six months” could be formed. Continental suggests that the government host a “transformation summit” in early 2022.
CEO Nikolai Setzer told the German Press Agency that Berlin is expected to be reliable and predictable, especially in energy, trade and labor market policy. In addition to its complementary business in mechanical engineering, Conti himself will remain primarily a mobility company in the digital and electrical world.
“We have been shaping and shaping this area for 150 years,” said Setzer on the occasion of the anniversary. “First with rubber products for horses, then there were coach coatings, bicycles, cars, and now software. Mobility is and will remain the core of what we do.” Conti plans to move into its new headquarters in Hanover in the second quarter of 2022.
Digital Infrastructure bentigt
The head of the business with driver assistance systems, Frank Petznick, said that Germany needs a well-equipped digital infrastructure in order to be able to develop offers such as autonomous driving for complex situations in inner-city traffic. This will be “just as important” as the technology in the cars themselves. “I think politics has now recognized that we also need new guard rails here in order to take the next steps.” (dpa / swi)
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