The corona pandemic mercilessly reveals that the entire automotive supplier industry must be rebuilt. Conti boss Degenhart wanted that – and in the end everyone was against him.

Elmar Degenhart

Dass Continental boss Elmar Degenhart has health problems has long been known. And yet his withdrawal is a surprise. The CEO of the automotive supplier leaves the company prematurely, and he leaves in a situation where for Conti it is a matter of being or not.

Degenhart had good years with Conti. During the crisis, he also pushed ahead with the necessary structural change to electromobility. But the manager, who is always looking for a balance, has not made friends with it. The unions complained about social cutbacks, and the Conti boss was not tough enough for some on the capital side during the transformation.

Nobody can accuse Degenhart of giving priority to his own health and withdrawing in this conflict. However, the move also highlights the situation of automotive suppliers. The corona pandemic mercilessly reveals how great the need is to rebuild the entire industry.

Financial injections from the state make it easy to ignore this temporarily and to maintain encrusted structures. Degenhart wanted the restructuring – in the end he had everyone against him, the unions and the capital side.