Hanover, Germany – Following an analysis of the substantial negative development in the automotive industry in the last six weeks, Continental AG has announced a cost-cutting program in the high three-digit million Euro range, in­cluding the postponement of investments as well as the stretching of expenditures in the area of research and development.

“Our customers have cut their production in the fourth quarter much more than had been ex­pected: In total, 1.5 million fewer vehicles than planned will be built this quarter in the US and Europe alone. This corresponds roughly to the entire decrease in production in the first three quarters in these regions and affects nearly all vehicle manufacturers,” said Continental Executive Board chairman Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

“In the second half of 2008, we already hit the brakes hard, making noticeable and painful cuts in all areas for 2009 in order to be amongst the winners when the markets recover,” he stressed. “In some cases, we postponed or stopped extensive investment plans. Moreover, in talks with our customers we have stretched or restructured expenditures in research and development wherever possible. This has low­ered our investment costs for the coming year by roughly a half a billion euros compared to our original intentions and adjusted the R&D expenditure by €200 million as well.”

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