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Continental AG

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Continental AG
Company typePublic
ISINDE0005439004 Edit this on Wikidata
PredecessorEnglebert Edit this on Wikidata
Founded8 October 1871; 152 years ago (1871-10-08)
Area served
Key people
ProductsTires, brake systems, powertrains, chassis components, automotive safety, vehicle electronics[1]
RevenueIncrease €41.42 billion (2023)
Increase €1.854 billion (2023)
Increase €1.156 billion (2023)
Total assetsDecrease €37.75 billion (2023)
Total equityIncrease €13.68 billion (2023)
OwnerSchaeffler Group (46%)
Number of employees
202,763 (2023)
Footnotes / references

Continental AG, commonly known as Continental or colloquially as Conti,[3] is a German multinational automotive parts manufacturing company that specializes in tires, brake systems vehicle electronics, automotive safety, powertrain, chassis components, tachographs, and other parts for the automotive and transportation industries. Continental is structured into six divisions: Chassis and Safety, Powertrain, Interior, Tires, ContiTech, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). It is headquartered in Hanover, Lower Saxony. Continental is the world's third-largest automotive supplier and the fourth-largest tire manufacturer.[4]

Continental sells tires for automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles worldwide under the Continental brand. It also produces and sells other brands with more select distribution, such as Viking (limited global presence),[5] General Tire (U.S./Canada), Gislaved Tires (Canada, Spain, Nordic Markets), Semperit Tyres, Barum to serve EU & Russia. Other brands are Uniroyal (Europe), Sportiva, Mabor and Matador[6] and formerly Sime/Simex tyres (now Dunlop Tyres Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei).[7] Continental's customers include all major automobile, truck and bus producers, such as Volkswagen, Daimler AG, BharatBenz, Ford, Volvo, Iveco, Schmitz, Koegel, Freightliner Trucks, BMW, General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Renault, PSA and Porsche.[8][9]


Continental AG global operations
Continental tires on a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie.[10] In 1898, Continental began development and production of the vehicle tires with plain tread, which was a major success for the brand. In 1904, Continental became the first company in the world to manufacture grooved vehicle tires.[11] Another major product Continental invented was a detachable wheel tire that was made for touring vehicles (1905). From about 1910, synthetic rubber started to play a major role in car tire production, and one of its earliest proponents was chemist Dr. Albert Gerlach (1858-1918), member of the executive board.[12] In the late 1920s, Continental merged with several other major rubber industry companies to form the largest rubber company in Germany "Continental Gummi-Werke AG".

Nazi era[edit]

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, all members of the Board of Management as well as the authorized signatories and directors of the second management level were obliged to join the Nazi party, the Works Council was purged of "opponents of the regime," and all Jewish members of the Supervisory Board were forced to resign. As early as the end of 1933, the Executive Board could proudly announce that Continental was now "a Christian and purely German company".[13][14]

As with many other German companies during World War II, Continental used slave labor provided by the Nazi Party in their factories in the 1940s at Hannover-Stöcken,[15] Hannover-Limmer,[16] Hannover-Ahlem,[17] and others, all offshoots of the Neuengamme concentration camp.[18]


Continental teamed up with FATE in 1999 for the production of tires for cars, trucks, and buses in Argentina[19] and exportation of the San Fernando plant's production to the rest of South America.[20]

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.[21] Continental acquired Siemens VDO from Siemens AG in 2007.[22] Also 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.[9]

In 2008, Continental appeared overextended with its integration of VDO and had since lost almost half of its market capitalisation when it found itself to be the hostile takeover target of the family-owned Schaeffler AG.[23] By 2009, Schaeffler successfully installed the head of its motor division at the helm of Continental.[24]

Continental was ranked third in global OEM automotive parts sales in 2012 according to a study sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.[25] On 6 September 2012, Continental returned to the benchmark DAX index of 30 selected German blue chip stocks after a 45-month absence.[26] IHO Group (investment holding of the Schaeffler family) is the controlling shareholder and currently owns 46% of Continental shares.[27] In November 2018, Continental purchased Kmart Tyre & Auto Service in Australia from Wesfarmers for A$350 million.[28]

In 2017 Continental signed a partnership to be the Tour de France official tire sponsor till 2027.[29]

On 13 November 2020, it was announced that Nikolai Setzer would take over as CEO following the short-notice resignation of Elmar Degenhart.[30]

In February 2021, Continental announced that it acquired a minority stake in Recogni, a German-U.S. start-up, to advance its autonomous driving technology. The start-up is working on a new chip architecture for object recognition in real time based on artificial intelligence.[31]

In December 2021, as a result of a diplomatic spat between Lithuania and China over Taiwan and human rights China pressured Continental AG to stop doing business with Lithuania.[32][33]

In April 2022, Continental resumed production of tires in Russia despite International sanctions during the Russo-Ukrainian War due to 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[34]

In February, Continental AG cut around 7,150 positions in its auto unit.[35]

Interior Division[edit]

The Interior Division is organised under the following five business units:[36]

  • Body & Security
  • Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket
  • Infotainment & Connectivity
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Instrumentation & Driver HMI
  • Autonomous Mobility

Body & Security is leading the development of vehicle electronics and cabin control systems,[37] with R&D locations in Germany, United States, China, Singapore, Mexico, India, and many other locations around the world, allowing a global reach to nearly every market region.[38]

Schaeffler takeover[edit]

Continental bicycle tire ad, France, circa 1900

When Continental decided to purchase ITT Industries' brake and chassis business for $1.93 billion in 1998,[39] 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.[40]

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.[41] Continental appeared to have overextended itself with the acquisition of Siemens' VDO automotive unit in 2007 for €11.4 billion[42] and had lost almost half of its market capitalisation since.[23]

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.[43] 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.[44] Continental's CEO Manfred Wennemer, who had opposed Schaeffler's offer, resigned and was succeeded by Karl-Thomas Neumann on 1 September 2008.[45] Less than one year later, Schaeffler's CEO Juergen Geissinger succeeded in installing his longtime confidant (and former leader and later head of ITT Teves/Continental Brake and Chassis Division) Elmar Degenhart, the head of his automotive division, as the new chief executive of Continental, ousting Neumann.[24] At Continental's 2013 annual shareholder meeting Schaeffler gave notice that it will terminate its mutual investment agreement with Continental in May 2014,[46] on which 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."[46]

Continental Tire the Americas, LLC[edit]

Continental Tire entered the North American tire industry with its 1987 purchase of General Tire from GenCorp, Inc., forming Continental General Tire Corp. [47] At the time, Continental was following other tire manufacturers, such as Bridgestone and Michelin, into the American tire market.

The headquarters for North and South American tire divisions is located in the Charlotte metropolitan area at Fort Mill, South Carolina, United States. The North American headquarters of the CAS division is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, directly east of the Great Lakes Crossing Mall. Continental also has a research and development arm in the tech-heavy Silicon Valley, where, among other things, the company focuses on developing technologies supporting autonomous driving vehicles.

From 2002 through 2005, the subsidiary sponsored a new college football bowl game in Charlotte, North Carolina, known for three playings as the Continental Tire Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. At the time, Continental was a major employer in Charlotte. However, as financial woes set in at the division Meineke Car Care Center took over sponsorship of the Charlotte bowl game from Continental. The first two Continental Tire Bowls were both won by Virginia; the third and final (by that name) edition of the bowl was won by Boston College.

The subsidiary announced that effective 1 January 2006, it would implement massive cuts on 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.[48] Later that year, it announced it would cease tire production in Charlotte[49] and would close its tire production plant in Mayfield, Kentucky.[50]

In 2011, CTA announced that it would build a plant in Sumter, South Carolina. The plant will cost about $500 million and employ 1,600 workers by 2020.[51]

In February 2016, CTA announced that it would build a Commercial Tire plant in Clinton, Mississippi, with an investment totaling approximately $1.4 billion and employing 2,500 people when the plant reaches full capacity in the next decade.[citation needed]

In October 2016, CTA purchased Hoosier Racing Tire.

Automotive electrical-energy storage systems[edit]

Continental was one of the companies bidding to work with General Motors to provide the battery pack for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV).[52] It is the primary contractor for a system using lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems. General Motors instead signed a contract to assemble packs with cells purchased from Compact Power.[53]

Continental continues to look at developments and innovation in the field of Automotive electrical-energy storage systems. These include developing solutions for gasoline and diesel driven engines as well as the rapidly-developing area of electrified systems. By offering a comprehensive technology toolkit to auto manufacturers, they enable these manufacturers to develop customised electrification in their vehicles, resulting in more efficient systems that produce lower emissions.[54]

Automotive PACE Awards[edit]

In April 2016, Continental AG together with Honda's U.S. subsidiary, were honored with the 2016 Automotive News PACE Innovation Partnership Award[55] for the Bidirectional Long Range Communications (BLRC) System, developed by the Body and Security Team in the Interior Division.[56] The Radio Frequency Device, helps the car user to operate a remote control key fob from more than half a kilometer away, to start the engine and climate control function, while receiving feedback from the vehicle (such as locked/unlocked). The Radio Frequency System, powered by a single standard coin cell, and an innovative vehicle-mounted RF transceiver, was developed together by Honda and Continental, and was debuted on the Acura MDX in 2013 and was quickly followed by the Acura TLX and Acura RLX in 2014.

In 2015, Continental AG was honored with two PACE Awards for its Bare Die High-Density-Interconnect (BD-HDI) Printed Circuit Board Substrate Technology for Transmission Electronics[57] and its Multi-application Unified Sensor Element (MUSE).[58] In 2018, Continental won a PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) Award for its Digital Micromirror Head-Up Display technology. Along with Audi, Continental also received an Innovation Partnership Award for their Safety Domain Control Unit (SDCU).[59]

In 2020, Continental won an inaugural PACEpilot award for its Virtual A-Pillar technology that helps to eliminate forward blind spots. PACEpilot is an offshoot of the long-standing PACE awards, and the programmes seeks to recognise innovations in automative technology that have moved to the working model phase of testing.[60]

Executive management[edit]

Chief Executive Officer[edit]

Chairman of the Board[edit]

Supervisory board[edit]

'*' Denotes labor representative[62]

Acquisition of Veyance Technologies, Inc.[edit]

Continental AG has acquired the American rubber company Veyance Technologies, Inc. based in Fairlawn, Ohio. Veyance will be integrated into the company's ContiTech division, and will serve as the regional home office for ContiTech in North America.

The Brazilian antitrust authority Council for Economic Defence (CADE) made it official on 29 January 2015, described in a press release on the 30th, from the company. The total transition was $1.6 billion. The company will divest Veyance's NAFTA air springs business in Mexico and its Brazilian steel-cord belting business in response to some of the concerns raised by antitrust authorities, the release said, employing about 600 people work in those operations.[63]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Automotive Group of Continental AG – Innovations for a Mobile Automotive Future". Continental Automotive.
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2023" (PDF). Continental. Retrieved 3 June 2024.
  3. ^ "Conti will mit neuer Strategie zurück in die Zukunft". ndr.de. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  4. ^ "The History of General Tire from 1915 up to now". General Tire. 27 January 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Viking Tyre Global Site". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Continental Tire – Tire Brands". Continental AG. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  7. ^ "About Dunlop Tyres Malaysia". Continental AG. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Continental General Tire Corp". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  9. ^ a b "German Autoparts Company Begins Investment in Costa Rica". Inside Costa Rica. 17 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  10. ^ "History 1871 - 1926". Continental Corporation. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  11. ^ "History". Continental USA. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  12. ^ "A short biography on Albert Gerlach (1858-1918)". December 2022. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  13. ^ Berger, Axel. "»Wenn sie tot sind, gibt es neue« (nd-aktuell.de)". nd-aktuell.de (in German). Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2022. Nicht nur seien sofort danach »sämtliche Vorstandskollegen sowie die Prokuristen beziehungsweise Direktoren der zweiten Führungsebene zum sofortigen Eintritt in die NSDAP« verpflichtet, der Betriebsrat von »Regimegegnern« gesäubert und in den ersten beiden Jahren etwa eine Million Reichsmark an diverse NS-Organisationen gespendet, sondern auch alle jüdischen Aufsichtsratsmitglieder zum Rücktritt gezwungen worden. Stolz konnte der Vorstand bereits Ende 1933 verkünden, Continental sei nun »ein christliches und rein deutsches Unternehmen«.
  14. ^ "Dax-Konzern: Continental – Zulieferer für Hitlers Krieg". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Satellite camps". kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Satellite camps". kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Satellite camps". kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  18. ^ Erker, Paul (21 November 2022). Supplier for Hitler's War: The Continental Group during the Nazi period. De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110646436. ISBN 978-3-11-064643-6.
  19. ^ "Fate se asoció a Continental". Lanacion.com.ar. 6 August 1998. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Blog de las Marcas: Historia de Fate". Blogdelasmarcas.blogspot.com. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  21. ^ "History 1997-2010". Continental Corporation. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  22. ^ Carter Dougherty (28 August 2007). "Continental sets about integrating Siemens VDO". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  23. ^ a b Christoph Hammerschmidt (14 July 2008). "Hunter Continental AG now becomes the hunted". EE Times. UBM Tech. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  24. ^ a b "Schaeffler wins battle on Continental chief". The Financial Times. The Financial Times Ltd. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  25. ^ "Top suppliers" (PDF). Automotive News. Crain Communications. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  26. ^ Tschampa, Dorothee (6 September 2012). "Continental Back in German DAX After Schaeffler Recovery". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  27. ^ "Shareholder Structure | Continental". Continental. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  28. ^ Druce, Alex (1 November 2018). "Sale of Kmart Tyre and Auto finalised". Australian Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Continental and Tour de France Extend Partnership Until 2027".
  30. ^ a b "Nikolai Setzer appointed CEO of Continental". mes-insights.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Continental invests in object recognition start-up". Reuters. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  32. ^ Sytas, Andrius; O'Donnell, John (17 December 2021). "China pressures Germany's Continental to cut out Lithuania - sources". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  33. ^ FUKAO, KOSEI. "China said to arm-twist Continental on Lithuania business". asia.nikkei.com. Nikkei. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  34. ^ Müßgens, Christian; Wagner, Katharina (19 April 2022). "Conti nimmt die Reifenproduktion in Russland wieder auf". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  35. ^ "The Detroit News". www.detroitnews.com. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  36. ^ "The Business Units – Integrated and specialized". Continental Automotive. Archived from the original on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  37. ^ "Body & Security (BS)". Continental Automotive. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  38. ^ "Our locations – worldwide presence". Continental Automotive. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  39. ^ Staff writers (28 July 1998). "Continental A.G. in $1.93 Billion Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  40. ^ Jann Bettinga and Sheenagh Matthews (28 January 2009). "Billionaire Schaeffler Shunned School to Lead Company". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  41. ^ Schaeffler AG Press Release (16 July 2008). "Schaeffler Group seeks strategic shareholding in Continental AG". Schaeffler AG & Co. KG. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  42. ^ Dougherty, Carter (28 August 2007). "Continental sets about integrating Siemens VDO". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  43. ^ "Schaeffler agrees to limit Continental stake". The Economic Times. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  44. ^ "Continental concludes far-reaching Investment Agreement with Schaeffler". Continental AG. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  45. ^ Schuetze, Arno (23 August 2008). "Continental appoints Neumann as new CEO". FinanzNachrichten.de. AFX News. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  46. ^ a b "Schaeffler Ending Conti Investment Agreement". Tire Review. Babcox Media. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  47. ^ "Company Profile, Information, Business Description, and History". Continental Corporation. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  48. ^ "USW Lawsuit Results in Continental Tire Agreeing to Provide Retiree Health Care" (Press release). Reuters.com. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  49. ^ Fuchs, Roberta (10 March 2006). "Continental may halt production, lay off 478". Charlotte Business Journal. bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  50. ^ "Continental Tire to close Kentucky plant". Charlotte Business Journal. bizjournals.com. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  51. ^ Woodall, Bernie (6 October 2011). "Continental to build tire plant in S. Carolina". Reuters. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  52. ^ Green, Jeff; Ortolani, Alex (12 January 2009). "GM to Build Michigan Plant to Supply Volt Batteries". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  53. ^ Jin, Hyunjoo (14 November 2010). "LG Chem sees more battery orders for GM's Volt in 2011". Reuters. Reuters.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  54. ^ "Electric Mobility". Continental. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  55. ^ "Automotive News PACE Awards". Automotive News. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  56. ^ "Honda and Continental Honored with 2016 Automotive News PACE Innovation Partnership Award". Continental Corporation. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  57. ^ "Automotive News PACE Awards". Automotive News. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  58. ^ "Automotive News PACE Awards". Automotive News. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  59. ^ "Continental Wins 2018 Automotive News PACE and Innovation Partnership Awards | Markets Insider". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  60. ^ "Continental's Virtual A-Pillar Honored in First Automotive News PACEpilot Award Program". Continental USA. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  61. ^ "Continental CEO Degenhart to Resign, Citing Health Reasons". Bloomberg. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020 – via Bloomberg.com.
  62. ^ "Supervisory Board / Committees". Continental AG. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  63. ^ McAfferty, Rachel Abbey (30 January 2015). "Continental AG closes $1.6 billion acquisition of Fairlawn-based Veyance Technologies Inc". crainscleveland.com. Cleveland Business. Retrieved 27 February 2015.

External links[edit]