|Type||Publicly traded company|
|Traded as||FWB: CON
OTC Pink: CTTAY
|Key people||Elmar Degenhart, CEO
Wolfgang Reitzle, Chairman
|Products||Tires, brake systems, powertrain and chassis components, automotive safety, vehicle electronics|
|Revenue||€32.7 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||€3.073 billion (2012)|
|Profit||c. €1.9 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||€7.543 billion (end 2011)|
|Employees||c. 170,000 (end 2012)|
Continental AG, commonly known as Continental or Conti, is a leading German automotive manufacturing company specializing in tires, brake systems, automotive safety, powertrain and chassis components, tachographs, and other parts for the automotive and transportation industries. Continental is based in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. Continental is the world's 4th largest tire manufacturer. Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie. After acquiring Siemens AG's VDO automotive unit in 2007 Continental was ranked fourth in global OEM automotive parts sales in 2009 according to a study sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP.
In 2008, Continental appeared overextended with its integration of VDO and had since lost almost half of its market capitalization when it found itself to be the takeover target of the family-owned Schaeffler AG. By 2009 Schaeffler successfully installed the head of its motor division at the helm of Continental.
On 6 September 2012, Continental returned to the benchmark DAX index of 30 selected German blue chip stocks after a 45-month absence. Schaeffler AG is the controlling shareholder and currently owns 49.9% of Continental shares.
Continental is structured in six divisions:
- Chassis & Safety
- Passenger car & Light Truck Tires
- Commercial Vehicle Tires
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, PSA and Porsche.
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. Continental acquired Siemens VDO from Siemens AG in 2007.
In Argentina, teamed up with FATE in 1999 for the production of tires for cars, trucks and buses and exports the production of the San Fernando plant to the rest of South America. 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.
Schaeffler takeover offer
When Continental decided to purchase ITT Industries' brake and chassis business for $1.93 billion in 1998, the head of ITT's brake division, Juergen M. Geissinger was hired as the CEO of the family-owned bearing and auto parts manufacturer Schaeffler Group.
Ten years later, Geissinger returned to Continental with mother and son owners Maria-Elisabeth and Georg Schaeffler and a consortium of banks, to buy control of the company. Continental appeared to have overextended itself with the acquisition of Siemens’ VDO automotive unit in 2007 for €11.4 billion and had lost almost half of its market capitalization since.
In August 2008 and after a protracted standoff, Continental agreed to be taken over by the Schaeffler Group in a deal that valued the company at approximately €12 billion. Schaeffler in return agreed to limit its position to less than 50% for a period of four years and support Continental's ongoing strategy. This arrangement was overseen by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder At Continental's 2013 annual shareholder meeting Schaeffler gave notice that it will terminate its mutual investment agreement with Continental in May 2014. Continental's CEO Elmar Degenhart commented, "Notice of termination of the investment agreement is understandable from the vantage point of Schaeffler, our anchor shareholder. We are confident that the two companies will continue their very good and goal-oriented cooperation on into the future." Continental's CEO Manfred Wennemer, who had opposed Schaeffler's offer, resigned and was succeeded by Karl-Thomas Neumann on 1 September 2008. Less than one year later, Schaeffler's CEO Juergen Geissinger succeeded in installing his longtime confidant Elmar Degenhart, the head of his automotive division, as the new chief executive of Continental, ousting Neumann.
Continental Tire the Americas, LLC
Continental Tire entered the North American Tire industry with its 1987 purchase of General Tire, forming Continental Tire of North America (CTNA). 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 North 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, representing the retirees, agreed to a settlement whereby the company would continue to fund benefits. Later that year, it announced it would cease tire production in Charlotte, North Carolina. and would close its tire production plant in Mayfield, Kentucky,
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.
Automotive electrical-energy storage systems
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). It is the primary contractor for a system utilizing Lithium-ion batteries from A123Systems. GM instead signed a contract to assemble packs with cells purchased from Compact Power.
|This section requires expansion. (January 2009)|
Chief executive officers
- 1973–1982: Carl Hahn
- 1991–1999: Hubertus von Grünberg
- 2001–2008: Manfred Wennemer
- 2008–2009: Karl-Thomas Neumann
- 2009–present: Elmar Degenhart
Chairmen of the board
- unknown–1989: Alfred Herrhausen
- 1999–2009: Hubertus von Grünberg
- 2009–2009: Rolf Koerfer (6 March - 28 September)
- 2009–present: Wolfgang Reitzle
- Werner Bischoff*
- Michael Deister
- Gunter Dunkel
- Hans Fischl*
- Juergen M. Geissinger
- Hans-Olaf Henkel
- Michael Iglhaut*
- Jörg Köhlinger*
- Klaus Mangold
- Hartmut Meine*
- Dirk Nordmann*
- Artur Otto•
- Wolfgang Reitzle (Chairman)
- Klaus Rosenfeld
- Georg F. W. Schaeffler
- Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler
- Jörg Schönfelder*
- Bernd W. Voss
- Siegfried Wolf
- Erwin Wörle*
* denotes labor representative
- Continental Automotive Systems—one of six divisions
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- Jann Bettinga and Sheenagh Matthews (28 January 2009). "Billionaire Schaeffler Shunned School to Lead Company". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Schaeffler AG Press Release (16 July 2008). "Schaeffler Group seeks strategic shareholding in Continental AG". Schaeffler AG & Co. KG. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
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- Schuetze, Arno (23 August 2008). "Continental appoints Neumann as new CEO". FinanzNachrichten.de. AFX News. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "History 1971 - 1995". Continental Corporation. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- "USW Lawsuit Results in Continental Tire Agreeing to Provide Retiree Health Care" (Press release). Reuters.com. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- Fuchs, Roberta (10 March 2006). "Continental may halt production, lay off 478". Charlotte Business Journal (bizjorunals.com). Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- "Continental Tire to close Kentucky plant". Charlotte Business Journal (bizjorunals.com). 2 August 2006. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- "Continental to build tire plant in S. Carolina". reuters.com. Reuters. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- Green, Jeff; Ortolani, Alex (12 January 2009). "GM to Build Michigan Plant to Supply Volt Batteries". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- Jin, Hyunjoo (14 November 2010). "LG Chem sees more battery orders for GM's Volt in 2011". Reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Supervisory Board / Committees". Continental AG. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
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