Founded in 1871 in Hanover Germany, Continental now occupies the fourth place in the world tyre market with around 6% of market share.
Present the world over, the German group had 6.5 billion euros in sales in 2008 netting 656 million euros.
Continental has a solid position in the European market because of tourism, van, and lorry tyres. Continental is famous for its winter tyres and their high quality tyres.
The German group has 26 factories and employed more than 56 000 people in 14 countries at the end of 2008.
Out of all of the innovations which marked the history of the brand, the most mémorable are the M+S tyre (mud and snow) and the ContiSportContact Vmax, an ultra high performance tyre which was the first tyre approved for speeds higher than 360 km/h.
Continental reserves 222 million euros for research and developement, or 3.4% net sales in 2008.
Continental also manufatures motorcycle, truck, agriculture and bicycles tyres.
Outside of being a tyre manufacturer, Contiental is also an automotive equipment manufacturer . Today, Continental ranks 5th in this market.
1871 : Continental Rubber and Gutta Percha (name of another latex derived rubber) founded in Hanover Germany. They produce rubber products and solid tyres for hackney carriages and bicycles.
1904 : First automobile tyre.
1908 : Invention of the removable rim which made changing tyres easy.
1909 : Development of synthetic rubber with laboratories.
1932 : Launch of a metal-rubber mixture under the name Continental Schwingmetall. It isolated the cockpit from the vibration and noise of the motor.
1935 : Auto racing success with Mercedes.
1943 : Patent registered for the tubeless tyre .
1952 : Launch of M+S tyres (Mud + Snow) for winter driving.
1972 : Launch of ContiContact, studless winter tyres.
1979 : Uniroyal renews its activities in Europe.
1985 : Semperit acquisition, an Austrian company.
1987 : General Tireacquisition, an American company.
2002 : Continental and Bridgestone join to develop Runflat tyres.
2003 : Launch of ContiSportContact Vmax, the first tyre approved for speeds higher than 360 km/h.
2007 : With the acquisition of Siemens VDO Automotive AG, Continental entered the Top 5 of international automobile equipment suppliers.
Competition / sports sponsorship
- Continental has been the official sponsor of the soccer World Cup since 2006.
- Continental is the official World Cup 2010 partner in South Africa.
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