Continental, the premium German automotive manufacturer, has been honoured by trade journal ‘Tire Technology International’ for initiating key innovation and excellence projects over the past 12 months. Continental recently collected the award for ‘Tire Manufacturer of the Year,’ having competed with other leading tire brands for the accolade.
On its 10th anniversary, the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence, were held in Hannover, Germany, near to Continental’s global headquarters, and decided by a high-calibre panel of 27 judges, including experts from Europe, Japan, India and the United States.
Projects which were highlighted during the awards included the opening of Continental’s High Performance Technology Center, the Taraxagum project that involved the industrialization of natural rubber from dandelion roots and the production of the first ever truck tire with tread made of dandelion rubber. The judges also mentioned the announcement of a research and development centre for agricultural tires in Portugal, and the expansion of Continental’s truck tire production operations in the Czech Republic.
Commenting on the award, Nikolai Setzer, a member of the Executive Board of Continental AG responsible for Corporate Purchasing and head of the Tire division said: “Receiving the award for ‘Tire Manufacturer of the Year’ is a significant achievement for Continental as it commends the brand for a variety of projects while we work within the scope of our long-term growth strategy, Vision 2025.”
Jose Luis de la Fuente, Managing Director for Continental Middle East added: “Continental is firmly on course to achieve its Vision 2025 across multiple markets, including those in the Middle East region, helping to produce the highest total of passenger car and light truck tires ever achieved by the brand. The award highlights our premium brand’s efforts to further innovation and excellence in the sector.”
Since 2011, as part of Vision 2025, Continental’s long term strategy to increase sales, the premium German brand has already invested more than $3 billion in the construction of new production plants in China, Russia and USA. Over $350 million per year of this total has been invested in expanding the Corporation’s existing plants around the world. Along with the construction of Continental’s unique Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer (AIBA) at the Contidrom proving grounds, the opening of the High Performance Technology Center (HPTC) in Germany drew attention to the brand’s efforts to increase investment in research and development. For the first time ever, in 2016, Continental produced more than 150 million passenger car and light truck tires and achieved a significant regional balance between EMEA, The Americas and APAC in terms of production and sales.
Previous success at Tire Technology International includes an earlier award for ‘Tire Manufacturer of the Year’ in 2014 and an award for innovation which recognised tire production for its ContiLifeCycle plant. This was due to the German brand’s unique integrated approach of combining hot and cold re-treading with a rubber recycling facility.