Continental AG steps up investments in electric car drives

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FRANKFURT Automotive components supplier Continental AG plans to invest an additional 300 million euros ($326 million) in electric drives by 2021 in anticipation of a shift to electric cars over the next decade, the company said on Tuesday.

One of the world’s biggest suppliers to vehicle manufacturers, Continental is strengthening its electronics expertise as its customers including Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and Ford raise their investment in electric and ultimately self-driving vehicles.

“Cars of the future will feature electric drives, which will be fully connected and automated,” Continental Chief Executive Elmar Degenhart said in a statement.

Until at least 2025, though, internal combustion engines will still account for most of the market, Continental predicts, meaning it also sees opportunities for growth in fuel-efficient technologies.

The group said it expected its Powertrain business, which accounts for close to a fifth of group revenues, to increase its annual sales to around 8 billion euros this year and 10 billion euros in 2019.

Continental had said in January it was reviewing its Powertrain division after earnings at the business, which makes failed to meet expectations.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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