Transformation means change. The process of changing from our current status to our desired status in the future is not primarily a question of exchanging or replacing existing modes of working, but of responding to current economic and social dynamics. The word "transformation" comes from the Latin “transformare” (to shape), and above all, is about constantly evolving, responding to opportunities and risks and taking new paths.
A Time of Change
Transformation is a challenge, even for large suppliers such as Continental. Where diesel and gasoline power transmission technology used to be the primary focus, Continental is now coming to grips almost exclusively with topics of the future, such as assisted, automated and connected driving, the realization of new vehicle architectures and connecting cars to new, high-performance computers, software and data based on intelligent products made of plastic, rubber or electronics, and business with industrial and end customers.
In November 2019, Continental started a global structural program „Transformation 2019-2029“ to accelerate the technology changeover. The aim is to strengthen the company’s competitiveness in the long term. The switch to electro mobility is leading to adjustments and phasing out of production at individual locations worldwide. Ongoing digitalization in the field of display and operating technologies is bringing about a change in the focus of production. Profitable growth areas such as autonomous and networked driving are moving to the forefront, as are services for mobility customers, the tire business and industrial and end-user business. Cars are slowly developing into smartphones on wheels, which are being equipped with an increasing number of driver assistance systems, until they are able to drive autonomously. All of this is changing the automotive industry fundamentally: the factories, the workforce, the processes and the products.
Drawing New Strength
The structural program is Continental’s response to global decline in the automotive production, the disruptive technology changeover in powertrain technologies and the ever-accelerating digitalization of products and business processes. All this will lead to a reorganization of the business. In order to take staff from the old world into the new, our focus is primarily on qualification programs. The expansion of the internal labor market, extended qualification measures and local partnerships are designed to prepare employees for the new challenges. This goes hand in hand with a strengthening of the corporate culture. Continental’s corporate values, increasingly decentralized decision-making responsibilities and the future-oriented qualification of staff are among the key elements.
Qualification for Change
In July 2019, Continental founded the „Institute of Technology and Transformation“ (CITT) in order to enable its staff to receive qualified education and further training. The primary task of the new institute is to oversee the qualification of all employees in Germany. You will have the opportunity of participating in an IHK-certified training program that offers tailor-made training, seminars and training courses for targeted qualifications. The aim is to offer staff long-term career prospects and greater employment opportunities.
“As electrification and digitalization become more widespread, simple tasks are being replaced by more complex tasks that require training or further education. These are far-reaching changes that are affecting an entire industry. Qualification is therefore only a question of devising a sensible way of sharing the burden: lawmakers, social partners and companies must all work together,” explains Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Continental Executive Board member for Human Relations. “Staff also have to play their part. Our institute provides the framework conditions needed for self-development and maximizing the employability of staff.”
Best Possible Support for Staff in the Transformation Process
Change always means change: adaptation to new events, requirements and developments. The fact is that the German car manufacturers are experiencing the greatest upheaval in their history. However, the automotive industry is crisis-tested, and has already gained enough experience through exceptional pressures. It is now important to actively drive the transformation process in which the entire automotive industry currently finds itself. Our ability to adapt is great, which means that self-challenging times can be used to increase competitiveness and to reposition ourselves on the market. Wolfgang Schäfer, Continental’s CFO, also agrees: “The economic environment will continue to be challenging in 2020.” And it’s good to know that “Continental has set itself up early and in good time,”says Dr. Elmar Degenhart.
Please finde here the complete article on the topic of transformation from Continental Magazine.