Chairman’s Letter


Dear Shareholders,

As stakeholders in Continental, you place trust and invest money in your technology company. In doing so, you are helping us create even greater value, and for this our global team and I would like to express our sincerest thanks.

Your trust is our driving force, keeping us firmly on our successful course. Along the way, we have already reached some key milestones.

The first is our financial stability. After the acquisition of Siemens VDO, Continental was at the time heavily in debt, a situation exacerbated by the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. But for some years now we have again been fully maneuverable with no financial concerns and are stronger now than almost ever before.

The second is our future viability. To help ensure this in the long term, we have fostered our corporate culture, creating an identity as “one Continental” with our four values – Passion To Win, Freedom To Act, For One Another, and Trust. In doing so, we have also expanded and strengthened collaboration within and throughout the corporation. After all, this is where our unique potential lies: in the fast and flexible development of innovations in the form of new products, systems, and features for our customers.

All of this means we are ideally positioned to help shape the future industrial world and the changing mobility landscape. We are pioneers in this regard, systematically seizing new opportunities with our top technologies. Here are four key examples:

The challenge of clean air: The battle against carbon dioxide emissions has entered a decisive phase. Today, more than seven billion people require mobility. By 2060, this figure will have risen to ten billion. Our contribution is clean power for low-emission drive systems. Our latest technologies help reduce fuel consumption in modern combustion engines by more than 20%. In addition, we are investing heavily in technologies for zero-emission mobility.

The challenge of safety: Each year, there are still more than 1.2 million road traffic fatalities around the world. For us it is simply unacceptable that 3,300 people lose their lives and 140,000 are injured on the roads every day. It is time to make road accidents a thing of the past. The technologies for doing so are already available and are now being fully integrated into cars. They include our advanced driver assistance systems as well as our tires, both of which can be found on millions of vehicles. Advanced driver assistance systems detect the surrounding environment, keep the vehicle in lane and on the road, monitor the blind spot, brake autonomously, and call for help in emergencies.

The challenge of urbanization: By 2050 more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in large cities, which is also where most of the anticipated two billion vehicles will be found. These vehicles will not only have to meet the specific needs of their users, requiring a high degree of interconnectivity, but will also have to be emission- free.

Electric drive systems, in particular, present a solution to this challenge. China is aiming to be the pioneer in this field, since these systems will help make the air in its cities more breathable again. Moreover, many city dwellers will share rather than own a vehicle. This emerging trend toward shared mobility will require vehicles that are in use almost around the clock, instead of just about an hour a day as they are today.

All of this will mean drastic changes for our industry. Traditionally successful technologies and business models will be put to the test. Cubic capacity or horse power alone will no longer be the key factor when deciding what car to buy. Instead, decisions will more often be based on comfort, convenience, connectivity and environmental compatibility.

The challenge of digitalization: Electronics, sensor technology, and software are opening up a broader range of opportunities. Cars are becoming part of the Internet. Smartphones, the Internet, and social media have unprecedented momentum – momentum that is radical, powerful, and challenging. The logic of the digitally connected world is taking hold of cars with full force – and is thus affecting mobility in its entirety. We already generate more than €14 billion, or over 35 percent, of our sales with digital technologies, and this will continue to increase over the coming years.

We see all of these challenges as tremendous opportunities and are tackling them with immense confidence. After all, your Continental has been demonstrating its flexibility and its ability to adapt quickly for 144 years.

We look forward to continuing along our successful path together with you.


Signature Dr. Elmar Degenhart

Dr. Elmar Degenhart
Chairman of the Executive Board


v, Chairman of the Executive Board

Dr. Elmar Degenhart
Chairman of the Executive Board