January 4, 2018 / 9:04 AM / 2 months ago

Continental to take five percent stake in mapping firm HERE

BERLIN (Reuters) - German automotive supplier Continental has agreed to buy a 5 percent indirect stake in digital mapping firm HERE from Audi, BMW and Daimler to advance its expertise in fast-growing driver-assistance technology.

Logo of German tyre company Continental is seen before the annual news conference in Hanover, Germany March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/Files

Germany’s three leading premium automakers are investing billions of euros in electric cars and software-based mobility services as tightening emission rules and connectivity are transforming the auto industry.

Continental said on Thursday that it would also sign a collaboration agreement with the Dutch provider of high-definition maps to pave the way for technologies providing data for the efficient transportation of people and their goods.

It said it had agreed not to disclose how much it was paying for the stake.

BMW, Daimler and Audi bought HERE for 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in 2015 from Finnish telecoms group Nokia as they pushed investments in autonomous-driving technology.

Software and electronics products are providing the strongest tailwind to growth at Hanover-based Continental which also makes fuel-injection systems and vehicle tyres. The group plans to boost sales to more than 50 billion euros by 2020 from 40.5 billion in 2016.

($1 = 0.8315 euros)

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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