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Moto sells auto biz to Continental for $1B

Marc Perton

Motorola, which has been shedding non-core businesses for years (including its semiconductor business, which was spun off to become Freescale in 2004) will scrap another of its classic lines, the company's automotive electronics arm, which includes sensors, telematics and safety-related electronics. The division will go to Continental AG, a German company best known in the US for its tires. The sale further focuses Motorola's business on cellphones and other communications technologies such as cable modems, two-way radios and set-top boxes. The move takes Motorola out of the automotive industry for the first time since 1930, when the company created the first successful car radio (hence the name "Motorola"). Of course, Moto's been out of that sector for years, and most car owners are unlikely to notice that the current divestiture has even happened, since most of the assets being sold are related to behind-the-scenes systems that don't include heavy consumer branding.

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