Asia will be the focus of Continental AG’s investments in the coming years, according to board member Heinz-Gerhard Wente. Asia makes up a third of the total sales of Continental AG, the second-largest autoparts maker in Europe.
In an interview in Bucharest, Wente said that Europe will still be the largest market for Continental but there may be some problems next year due to a potential economic slowdown triggered by the sovereign-debt crisis.
Wente said that there doesn’t seem to be any indication of a "dramatic downturn." Asia makes up 21% of overall sales. Wente said that within the next few years, Asia will have the highest market volumes.
He said that India and China in particular are where most of the investments will go, according to BusinessWeek. He said that the company is uncertain about the effects of the euro crisis on its operations and so it is “quite reserved” about its car output for next year. The rebound in the global auto markets has helped Continental boost its financial situation and post the highest quarterly profit in over three years.
Last April, it got its first credit-rating upgrade from Moody's Investors Service in six years after establishing a 6 billion-euro ($8 billion) loan package to reduce borrowing costs. In addition, Wente said that Continental is aiming to increase investments in Romania and to spend around 40 million euros to raise output of its tire plant in the western city of Timisoara.