Continental sees Q2 as weakest quarter for auto sector since 1945

Europe

FRANKFURT — Continental said the auto industry slump, triggered by the shutdown of car factories and showrooms in the wake of the corona pandemic, will be the worst seen by the sector since 1945.

“The second quarter is just behind us. It will be the historically weakest quarter for the auto industry since 1945,” Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart said, according to a transcript of his speech due to be made at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on July 14.

Degenhart also forecast a “very difficult” third quarter, with revenues seen higher than during the second quarter, but remaining significantly below the year-earlier period.

Continental has cut investment spending by 20 percent and extended credit limits with banks by 3 billion euros ($3.38 billion) to help weather the economic slump caused by the coronavirus crisis, the transcript showed.

Continental expects to achieve annual cost savings of around 500 million euros from 2023 onward.

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