Continental: New strategic programme for the Tires business area
On the occasion of its Capital Market Days, Continental set out its new strategic programme for the Tires business area. “Vision 2030” is focused on the systematic customer-centric alignment of the organisation and all its business activities. In addition, the Tires business area is targeting further profitable growth and, in a fast-changing market environment, aiming to set itself apart from the competition in respect of sustainability and through digital solutions, said the company.
According to Continental, in particular the Tires business area is looking to expand its share of the growth markets of Asia and North America. In the passenger and light truck tyres segment, the focus will be on growing the global business with tyres for electric vehicles and ultra-high-performance tyres. In the truck and bus tyre segment, the Conti360° fleet services offering will be a key driver across all regions. At the same time, Continental’s speciality tyre business, which covers two-wheeler and race tyres, as well as tyres for many different industrial applications, is also set for further growth, notably in the agricultural tyres segment.
“Excellent tyres are and will remain our DNA. They have made us one of the world's largest tyre manufacturers. Now, with our ‘Vision 2030’ strategic programme, we are setting the stage to build on what is already a position of strength. Going forward, smart digital tyre solutions and the realisation of ambitious sustainability goals will be decisive for our success and as differentiators in the marketplace,” said Christian Kötz, head of the Tires business area and a member of Continental’s Executive Board. “The new ‘Vision 2030’ strategic programme underlines our aspiration to systematically align our organisation with the development of customer-oriented solutions and to put customer needs at the centre of all our activities.”
The previous “Vision 2025” strategy had seen the Tires business area drive substantial expansion of its worldwide market share. Going forward, with its portfolio of passenger, truck and speciality tyres, the company will continue to stand for innovative peak performance in tyre technology, said Continental. In the future, this will be complemented by an ever-expanding service offering and aligned even more precisely with the different customer segments. On top of this, in recent years Continental has pursued the targeted expansion of its worldwide production network. At the company’s production plants, innovations such as fully automated tyre warehouses and the cross-company roll-out of a global digital manufacturing system will support even more efficient and environmentally compatible production in the future, said Continental.
The company said it will continue to systematically develop new business models and create an entire ecosystem of smart digital solutions centred on its premium tyres. As one of the world's largest suppliers of electronics, sensor systems and software in the mobility industry, Continental has a competitive edge in this respect. At the same time, the tyre manufacturer also systematically enters development partnerships with customers and other technology firms. Through this approach, the Tires business area is aiming to become a leader for service-based digital solutions by 2030. Today, the company already offers many fleet customers guaranteed mileage along with an extensive range of tyre services whenever and wherever they are required. Then there are smart tyres that permit customers to monitor their condition with the aid of sensors and software. In pilot projects, Continental is currently demonstrating the added value that it will create for its customers going forward by networking tyres, sensors, telemetry data, algorithms and the cloud. The resultant smart digital solutions will help to ensure that, in the future, tyres are serviced or replaced precisely when necessary. This will lead to a substantial increase in safety and productivity, while at the same time cutting costs, said Continental.
In the sustainability sector too, the company is pursuing ambitious goals and aiming to become the most progressive manufacturer in the tyre industry by 2030. With this in mind, back in April 2020, all the relevant projects and activities worldwide were brought under the umbrella of the newly created Sustainability department. Sustainable and responsible business practices have for years formed an integral part of corporate strategy at Continental. Efforts here are centred around the strategic topics of climate action, low-emission mobility, the circular economy and sustainable supply chains, thus embracing all phases of the value chain.
In order to arrive at a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly tyre of the future in respect of production, use and recyclability, Continental said it systematically invests in research and development in the fields of new technologies, alternative materials and environmentally compatible production processes. Through these efforts, by 2050 the tyre manufacturer is aiming to gradually transition to 100 % sustainably produced materials in its tyre products. Continental said it defines all materials as sustainable that originate in a closed material cycle, have no harmful impact on humans or the environment, are procured responsibly and are carbon neutral along the supply chain. Today, in its Taraxagum project, the Tires business area already produces natural rubber from dandelions, opening up an alternative source of raw material. By way of example, the Urban Taraxagum bicycle tyre is the first series production tyre from Continental to be made using natural rubber obtained from the dandelion plant. The company said the Tires business area is also a leader in the efficient and sustainable use of water and energy. Today, the company already consumes 55 % less water and 17 % less energy than the industry average per metric tonne of tyres produced. By 2030, the aim is to achieve savings of an additional 20 % in each case.