Germany’s Continental AG, which is Europe’s second largest tire and parts maker, has expressed its interest in making parts for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s electric car. These views were expressed in a live interview by the CEO of Continental AG, Elmar Degenhart to CNBC this morning.
“If Apple would really decide to enter the automotive industry then Apple would be an interesting partner and customer for a company – a system supplier like Continental – with all our technologies we have in our product portfolio. Apple has great reputation. They have a very strong brand, financial strength. We would be happy to work for Apple, as well as we are doing today for lots of customers around the world,” Degenhart said.
Continental is Europe’s second largest maker of automotive parts and for $1.6 billion, it has just completed the acquisition of Veyance Technologies, formerly called Goodyear Engineered Products under Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. With this important acquisition which gives Continentala better global presence, Continental is expecting its sales will grow by up to 9% – to more than $41 billion. In order to get into the car making business Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) must be looking to make strategic partnerships with other enterprises, so this signal could not have come at a better time.
Continental is already making tires for almost all of the car manufacturers – its customers include the likes of Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC), Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F). Continental deals in tires, powertrains, chassis and safety. While Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would focus more on the technological capabilities of its car it will also doubtlessly be making partnerships and hiring personnel from established players in the automobile industry. Let’s see how Apple Inc. reacts to Continental’s partnership offer. Degenhart’s words are that he would be “happy” to work alongside Apple Inc. for developing its technology enhanced car, and potentially being a part of something amazing.
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