Continental AG “interested” if Apple decides to build a car image

According to Elmar Degenhart, the chief executive officer of German auto parts maker Continental AG, the supplier would offer its services as a technology and parts partner to US technology giant Apple Inc. if the latter wants to build an automobile.

Recently Apple sparked a huge debate among insiders of the automotive industry after numerous reports emerged pitting the technology giant – which is valued at more than $745 billion – ready to develop and build an electric car. Codenamed “project Titan,” Apple’s proposed demonstrator resembled a minivan and the sources pointed out that the company – if it decides to approve the pet project – would introduce the car within five years, complete with semi-autonomous technology. “Apple has an excellent reputation on information and communication systems and has incredible financial strength,” Degenhart commented during Continental’s earnings press conference. “We would be interested” if Apple decides they would like to partner with the German supplier.

Separately the company said 2014 earnings before interest and taxes, and excluding one-time effects (like purchase amortizations) grew 3.7 percent from the same period a year before to around 3.9 billion euros, with the earnings margin up to 11.3 percent of sales from 11.2 percent in 2013. Overall sales also soared by 3.5 percent last year to 34.5 billion euros and the forecasted margin for 2015 will remain above 0.5 percent of revenue, according to Continental. On the other hand, the CEO remained skeptical about the prospects of the electric auto market, contenting it would be more than three or four years before their own electric-car operations would achieve a profit.

Via Automotive News Europe