Continental, the second largest manufacturer of tires and auto parts in Europe, has announced recently its intention to purchase Elektrobit Oyj’s automotive business for 600 million euros ($680 million) in a bid to enforce its autonomous systems unit.
Auto parts suppliers have been hard at work implicating themselves in the connected car business, which is expected to grow tremendously from around 30 billion this year to 115 billion in 2020. While the sector also involves infotainment systems, the latter would soon be outgrown by safety features and autonomous driving systems. After the acquisition, Elektrobit would move to adopt the Bittium Oyj name and also will delve most of all of its sales proceeds to the shareholders, according to the Oulunsalo, Finland-based maker of software and hardware. The sale has already been approved by holders of 46 percent of Elektrobit’s shares. “This is a small acquisition for Continental, but it makes sense to strengthen their software business,” comments Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler.
The Hanover, Germany-based Continental has lifted automotive electronics as a key contributor to its plan to grow annual revenue by more than 45 percent before 2020. The manufacturer has moved to announce numerous projects and partnerships that involve the field of autonomous and connected driving. The components industry has also been rocked by the upcoming revolution of cars that are able to partially or totally drive themselves, with ZF Friedrichshafen AG acquiring this year TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. to create the world’s second largest automotive supplier, behind Germany’s Robert Bosch GMBH.