After a prolonged period of infighting between Conti and its putative new owner Schaeffler, the outgoing chairman of the firm's supervisory board, Rolf Koerfer, has expressed hopes that the company can fashion a 'common concept' with Schaeffler.

According to an interview in Handelsblatt, he said a compromise reached should pave the way to flesh out those plans.

Under the compromise, the chief executive of Continental, Karl-Thomas Neumann, stepped down yesterday. Continental said Elmar Degenhart, previously head of Schaeffler's auto unit, will succeed Neumann effective immediately.

And Rolf Koerfer, a Schaeffler appointee, will resign from his position as chairman of Continental's supervisory board in the mid-term and hand over responsibility to an independent board member after a new finance chief is appointed, the company said in a statement.

Conti may still get a capital injection, which among others is to be provided by majority shareholder Schaeffler, Welt Online reported this week. The funding could come as part of a merger between the two companies, it said.

It is also reported that deposed CEO Neumann will be compensated with an EUR7.4m package.

Schaeffler controls Conti but at present holds just under 50 per cent of Conti's shares, having agreed to limit its stake and preserve key aspects of Conti's independence as part of an investor agreement that runs until 2014. Schaeffler is also struggling with its debts.