Continental AG
Type Aktiengesellschaft
Founded 1871
Headquarters Hanover, Germany
Key people Elmar Degenhart (CEO and Chairman of the executive board), Wolfgang Reitzle (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Industry Auto and Truck parts
Products Tires, brake systems, automotive safety and communications systems
Revenue (turnover) 30.5 billion (2011)[1]
Operating income €2.597 billion (2011)[1]
Profit €1.242 billion (2011)[1]
Total equity €7.543 billion (end 2011)[1]
Employees ca. 164,000 (end 2011)[1]

Continental AG, internally often called Conti for short, is a German auto and truck parts manufacturing company specialized in tires, brake systems, vehicle stability control systems, engine injection systems, tachographs and other parts for the automotive and transport industries. Continental is based in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. Continental is the world's 4th largest tire manufacturer after Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear.[2] Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie.[3] After acquiring Siemens VDO, Continental has become one of the top five automotive suppliers in the world.[4]

Continental is a member of the DAX, the top 30 index of the German stock exchange.

Overview Edit

Continental is structured in six divisions:

  • Chassis & Safety
  • Powertrain
  • Interior
  • Passenger car & Light Truck Tires
  • Commercial Vehicle Tires
  • ContiTech

One of Continental's main areas of expertise and technological leadership is Fuel Consumption Reduction, achieved through more efficient fuel injection systems, reduced rolling resistance tires and hybrid propulsion systems.

Continental sells tires for automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles worldwide under the Continental brand. It also produces and commercializes other brands on a regional level, such as General, Euzkadi, or Barum. Continental's customers include all major automobile, truck and bus producers, such as Volkswagen, Daimler AG, Ford, Volvo, Iveco, Schmitz, Koegel, Freightliner Trucks, BMW, General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Renault and Porsche.[5][6]

Continental AG global locations

Continental AG global locations.

In 2001, Continental acquired a controlling interest in Temic, DaimlerChrysler's automotive-electronics business, which is now part of Continental Automotive Systems. The company also purchased German automotive rubber and plastics company Phoenix AG in 2004, and the automotive electronics unit of Motorola in 2006.[7] Continental acquired Siemens VDO from Siemens AG in 2007.[8]

In Argentina, teamed-up with FATE in 1999 for the production of tires for cars, trucks and buses[9] and exports to the rest of South America the production of the San Fernando plant.[10] In 2007, the company began to construct a plant in Costa Rica to produce powertrain components for North America. The plant was to open in two phases and ultimately employ 550 workers.[6]

Takeover offer Edit

In August 2008, Continental agreed to be taken over by the family-owned auto parts manufacturer Schaeffler Group and a consortium of banks in a deal valuing the company at €12 billion. Schaeffler has however pledged to restrict its stake in the company to less than 50% for at least four years.[11] Continental chief executive officer Manfred Wennemer, who had tried to preserve the independence of the company, in contrast to the chairman of the supervisory board, Hubertus von Grünberg, subsequently announced his resignation, stating that the "sneaky" move had been carried out "egotistically, high-handedly and irresponsibly".[11] Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann has succeeded Manfred Wennemer as chief executive officer of Continental on 1 September 2008.

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC Edit

Continental Tire entered the North American Tire industry with its 1987 purchase of General Tire, forming Continental Tire of North America (CTNA).[12] At the time, Continental was following other tire manufacturers, such as Bridgestone and Michelin, into the American tire market.

The North American headquarters of the tire divisions are located in Lancaster County, South Carolina. The North American headquarters of the CAS division are located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, directly south of the Great Lakes Crossing mall.

The company announced that effective 1 January 2006 it would implement massive cuts on retiree health care for retirees across the country. After a class action lawsuit, the company and United Steelworkers union, who represented the retirees, agreed to a settlement where the company would continue to fund benefits.[13] Later that year, it announced it would cease tire production in Charlotte, North Carolina.[14] and it would close its tire production plant in Mayfield, Kentucky,[15]

In 2011, CTNA announced that it would build a plant in Sumter, South Carolina. The plant will cost approximately $500 million and employ 1,600 workers by 2020.[16]

Automotive electrical-energy storage systems Edit

Continental was one of the companies bidding to work with GM to provide the battery pack for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV).[17] It is the primary contractor for a system utilizing Lithium-ion batteries from A123Systems. The company did not prevail in its bid and GM will assemble packs with cells purchased from Compact Power.[18]

See also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Annual Press Conference 2012". Continental. Retrieved on 1 March 2012.
  2. "The History of General Tire from 1915 up to now". General Tire (27 January 2005). Retrieved on 2012-05-02.
  3. "History 1871 - 1926". Continental Corporation. Retrieved on 2012-05-02.
  4. "Continental Global Site - Passenger Cars".
  5. "Continental General Tire Corp.". Funding Universe. Retrieved on 2012-05-02.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "German Autoparts Company Begins Investment in Costa Rica". Inside Costa Rica (17 October 2007). Retrieved on 2012-05-02.
  7. "History 1997-2010". Continental Corporation. Retrieved on 2012-05-02.
  8. Carter Dougherty (28 August 2007). "Continental sets about integrating Siemens VDO", The New York Times, Retrieved on 2 May 2012. 
  9. "Fate se asoció a Continental". Retrieved on 3 April 2012.
  10. "Blog de las Marcas: Historia de Fate". Retrieved on 3 April 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Mason, Rowena (21 August 2008). "Schaeffler family buys out tyre giant Continental for €12bn", The Daily Telegraph (London), Retrieved on 2008-08-25. 
  12. "History 1971 - 1995". Continental Corporation. Retrieved on 2012-05-02.
  13. (16 April 2008). "USW Lawsuit Results in Continental Tire Agreeing to Provide Retiree Health Care", Retrieved on <time class="dtstart" datetime="2012-05-02">2012-05-02</time>. 
  14. Fuchs, Roberta (10 March 2006). "Continental may halt production, lay off 478", Charlotte Business Journal, Retrieved on 2012-05-02. 
  15. "Continental Tire to close Kentucky plant", Charlotte Business Journal, (2 August 2006). Retrieved on 2012-05-02. 
  16. "Continental to build tire plant in S. Carolina", (6 October 2011). Retrieved on 2012-05-02. 
  17. "GM to Build Michigan Plant to Supply Volt Batteries", (12 January 2009). Retrieved on 2012-05-02. 
  18. Jin, Hyunjoo (14 November 2010). "LG Chem sees more battery orders for GM's Volt in 2011", 
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