Continental outlines new tyres business strategy

Continental has set out a new strategic programme for its tyres business area, with a focus on sustainability and digital solutions to differentiate itself from competitors in a fast-changing market environment.
Ancillary Equipment / December 18, 2020
 Continental's sustainability efforts include its Taraxagum project that produces natural rubber from dandelions
Continental's sustainability efforts include its Taraxagum project that produces natural rubber from dandelions

The “Vision 2030” strategy is concentrated on the systematic customer-centric alignment of the organisation and all its business activities. In addition, Continental's tyres business area - which encompasses products for trucks and passenger vehicles - is targeting further profitable growth.
The German-based multinational is particularly looking to expand its share of the growth markets of Asia and North America. In the passenger and light truck tyres segment, the focus will be on growing the global business with tyres for electric vehicles and ultra-high-performance tyres.

In the truck and bus tyre segment, Continental says its Conti360° fleet services offering will be a key driver across all regions. At the same time, the company says its specialty tyre business, which covers two-wheeler and race tyres, as well as tyres for many different industrial applications, is also set for further growth, notably in the agricultural tyres segment.

“Excellent tyres are and will remain our DNA,” said Christian Kötz, head of the tyres business area and a member of Continental’s executive board. "They have made us one of the world's largest tyre manufacturers. Now, with our ‘Vision 2030’ strategic programme, we are setting the stage to build on what is already a position of strength. Going forward, smart digital tyre solutions and the realisation of ambitious sustainability goals will be decisive for our success and as differentiators in the marketplace.

“The new ‘Vision 2030’ strategic programme underlines our aspiration to systematically align our organisation with the development of customer-oriented solutions and to put customer needs at the centre of all our activities.”

Continental says its previous “Vision 2025” strategy had seen the tyres business area drive substantial expansion of the company's worldwide market share. The company claims to already be the world’s third largest manufacturer of passenger tyres and the fourth largest truck tyre manufacturer.

Going forward, with its premium portfolio of passenger, truck and specialty tyres, Continental says it will continue to stand for innovative peak performance in tyre technology. In the future, this will be complemented by an ever-expanding service offering and aligned even more precisely with the different customer segments. On top of this, in recent years Continental has pursued the targeted expansion of its worldwide production network. The company says that innovations at its production plants, such as fully automated tyre warehouses and the cross-company rollout of a global digital manufacturing system, will support even more efficient and environmentally compatible production in the future.

As part of the Vision 2030 strategy Continental will continue to systematically develop new business models and create an entire ecosystem of smart digital solutions centered on its premium tyres. As a major global supplier of electronics, sensor systems and software in the mobility industry, the company says it has a decisive competitive edge in this respect. At the same time, the tyre manufacturer says it also systematically enters development partnerships with customers and other technology firms.

Through this approach, Conitnental adds that the tyres business area aims to become the global leader for service-based digital solutions by 2030.

Today, the company already offers many fleet customers guaranteed mileage along with an extensive range of tyre services as required. Then there are smart tyres that permit customers to monitor their condition with the aid of sensors and software. In pilot projects, Continental says it is currently demonstrating the added value that it will create for its customers going forward by networking tyres, sensors, telemetry data, algorithms and the cloud. The manufacturers says the resultant smart digital solutions will help to ensure that, in the future, tyres are serviced or replaced precisely when necessary. It adds this will lead to a substantial increase in safety and productivity, while at the same time cutting costs.

Continental is also pursuing ambitious goals in the sustainability sector, aiming to become the most progressive manufacturer in the tyre industry by 2030.

With this in mind, in April 2020 the company brought all the relevant projects and activities worldwide under the umbrella of the newly-created sustainability department. Sustainable and responsible business practices have for many years formed an integral part of corporate strategy at Continental. Efforts here are centered around the strategic topics of climate action, low-emission mobility, the circular economy and sustainable supply chains, thus embracing all phases of the value chain.

By 2050 the manufacturer is aiming to gradually transition to 100% sustainably produced materials in its tyre products. Continental defines all materials as sustainable that originate in a closed material cycle, have no harmful impact on humans or the environment, are procured responsibly and are carbon neutral along the supply chain.

As part of Continental's current Taraxagum project, the tyres business area already produces natural rubber from dandelions, opening up an alternative source of raw material.

The company adds that its tyres business area is also the industry leader in the efficient and sustainable use of water and energy. As a result of years of hard work, today Continental already consumes 55% less water and 17% less energy than the industry average per metric ton of tyres produced. By 2030, the company's aim is to achieve savings of an additional 20% in each case.

For more information on companies in this article