Conti navigates supply-chain challenges, war in Ukraine

What are you telling dealers who are unable to get certain tires?

Close collaboration with our clients in the forecasting procedure is now far more important than ever. We chat to our prospects regularly to ensure we are producing the correct merchandise for the sector requires in this unparalleled ecosystem. In the stop, we are dedicated to staying a extensive-expression companion to our sellers through all industry disorders.

What are some of the pleasurable surprises in the marketplace?

Our buyers stay resilient and impressive in navigating this even now tough ecosystem. Need carries on to be potent, irrespective of inflation strain on people and corporations.

Professional functions these as freight transportation are also at historic significant concentrations, driving ongoing demand from customers for commercial tires.

What variety of trends are you seeing? How are you reacting?

Electrical vehicles (EV) are a car or truck segment that is rising in the U.S. even so, ideal now the number of EVs on the street is nevertheless rather limited. Continental has a ton of EV knowledge as 7 of the 10 greatest-quantity suppliers of electric powered cars throughout the world rely on Continental tires as authentic gear. This contains Tesla, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Ford, and many others.

In addition, our engineering experience — as a result of our substantial perform as an automotive factors provider for EVs — gives us initially-hand perception into the EV current market requires, which is a little something no other tire organization can present.

On the passenger/light truck side, we at this time have around 50% coverage with our OE tires specifically made for EVs. In addition, our recent substitute products for equally passenger and commercial cars are suited for EVs and have a close to 100% dimensions coverage for the existing EVs in the current market.

Continental’s tactic is to provide tire traces suited for electric and hybrid autos, which however supply outstanding functionality on regular automobiles. Alternative tire effectiveness is typically much more concentrated on grip, tread lifetime mileage, and durability, matching the priorities of buyers and commercial fleet operators.

Electric automobile OEMs may perhaps have a heightened aim on assortment and very low noise, producing this the precedence for OE tires. By providing excellent substitute tires that are suited for standard, hybrid and electrical motor vehicles, we simplify the portfolio for tire sellers, individuals, and fleets.

What sector offers the most progress probable?

On the passenger tire aspect, the extremely-large-functionality (UHP) segment remains strong as far more and extra new autos arrive with tires in this segment.

Gentle truck/SUV segments have also proven powerful resilience. Each segments occur with higher-rim diameters, and for LT we also see significant outdoors diameter. This demands adjustments in the manufacturing approach to most effective meet up with need.

In bicycle tires, we see advancement possibilities over-all, in particular in the mountain bike segment. We have extended our worldwide partnership with Tour de France until 2027, and we are complementing our perfectly-known road cycle tires with new investments in our mountain bicycle portfolio.

In April 2022, we launched the new Gravity tire line for mountain bikes at the Sea Otter Classic in California. We also see growth prospects in the motorcycle industry, which stays previously mentioned 2019 levels.

On the commercial fleet side, with the renaissance of the retread section, we continue on to commit in precure retread creation, in buy to supply customers with a top quality substitute to new tires. We develop tires specially meeting the needs of North American fleets.

We also see progress alternatives in earthmover, materials dealing with, port operations and agriculture tire segments, and we are maximizing our output for those categories.

There was converse final yr Conti is looking at ability expansions in get to procedure a lot more rubber at your North American plants. Has that started at any plant?

We are investing in many vegetation across the Americas to increase generation on certain product lines, and we proceed to ramp up creation at our new industrial tire plant in Clinton, Overlook.

Getting this financial investment coming on line in the present-day industry, coupled with the simple fact that our premier plant around the globe is in Mount Vernon, Ill., has developed prospects for our consumers by presenting provide from within the U.S. marketplace.

Do you be expecting to roll out any further items in 2022?

Continental will launch 8 new products and solutions in the next half of 2022.

On the passenger tire aspect, the Continental SportContact 7 will be used as an OE products line for high- effectiveness cars, changing the SportContact 6. It delivers enhanced mileage as properly as enhanced dry and moist efficiency.

The General Altimax RT45, a touring products line for vehicles, minivans and crossovers, delivers up to 10% more time tread existence compared to the prior era Altimax RT43, which it replaces. With 136 sizes readily available, it addresses a lot more than 85% of the segment.

For business fleets, the Continental VanContact A/S Extremely for industrial vans is prepared to launch in Q4 2022. It provides higher mileage, superb rolling resistance, and high sidewall robustness. It also has a 3-peak mountain snowflake mark (3PMSF) for excellent snow performance.

The 19.5-inch Continental HSR+ and HDR+ regional tires are created for medium duty professional automobiles. Both equally are rated Load Variety H, delivering an added 220 kilos of load-carrying ability for each tire in one and dual programs. For a twin-generate select-up truck these types of as the Silverado 5500, this equates to an more 880 lbs for each load.

For fleets compensated by the pound, this means further profits, while for utility fleets this implies the means to have added or heavier machines. The tires are also pace-rated for 87 mph, the optimum pace ranking in the industry for this kind of tire.

We introduced a upcoming-era steer, drive and trailer tire in the Normal Tire brand for prolonged-haul fleet shoppers earlier in 2022, and will carry on to update the Common Tire line with the release of the Grabber OA 2 in the next 50 percent. This all-place design tire will be presented in 6 measurements and was created to strengthen removal mileage and greater resist cut and chip.

For earthmoving fleets, we will launch our LD Grasp line of L5 Radial solutions. This line will enhance our existing Earthmover Master line of E3/L3 and E4/L4 sizes, with the new LD Grasp remaining made for extra critical apps.

For substance dealing with, we have currently released the General Tire Tremendous Elastic Lifter tires in the two black and non-marking variants, as well as an extension of the Basic Tire good push-on bands into a non-marking featuring. This 12 months, we will present further more measurements of the container dealing with radial merchandise array. All OTR container managing radial tires are geared up with tire sensors to give force and temperature info.

In addition to tire products and solutions, we carry on innovating with our electronic tire checking answers. Continental is currently supplying the ContiConnect Garden Reader for fleets who return to the depot regularly, as effectively as ContiPressureCheck on-vehicle alternative and ContiLogger for OTR.

This 12 months, we are tests the ContiConnect Stay resolution, which delivers in excess of-the-street notifications for fleets who want to keep track of tire stress and temperature in genuine-time, anytime, any where.

What technology will be a recreation- changer?

Digitalization of tires will be a video game-changer in the tire current market. For fleets, data analytics and smart reporting are the potential of tire management.

As a buyer-oriented organization, Continental sees the have to have for assisting fleets lessen tire-relevant expenditures, improve uptime and improve routine maintenance functions. This can only be accomplished by a combination of data intelligence and support capabilities.

By furnishing this solutions-company method, Continental enables fleets to emphasis on their main operations, regardless of whether that signifies delivering merchandise, doing expert services or transporting persons.

ContiConnect is Continental’s electronic tire monitoring platform, displaying tire strain and temperature info for every auto in the fleet in a single internet portal. Now targeted on business auto fleets, the property-based alternative is great for fleets whose trucks or buses return to the terminal frequently, even though the live answer is perfect for fleets who want about-the-street genuine-time facts.

Our partnership with Zonar also presents exclusive answers. Fleets benefit from increased uptime, prolonged tire daily life and less tire-connected breakdowns. Fleets no more time have to count on executing tire tension checks on tens, hundreds or even 1000’s of tires on their vehicles.

With Continental’s digital tire-monitoring alternatives, they will know no matter whether any tires have very low strain or higher temperature. Leveraging the World wide web of Issues (IoT) will save fleets time and revenue by guarding their tires, and increases security for everyone who drives on the roadway.

In addition, we see efficiencies from the routine maintenance facet. Fleets are in a position to switch manual and regimen tire treatment with automatic and specific treatment. They are correcting tire problems in which they are identified to exist and saving inspection and upkeep time.

Digitalization will also be essential for autonomous driving and shared mobility situations. Continental is acquiring Conti C.A.R.E. (Connected. Autonomous. Trustworthy. Electrified.), a extensive technological innovation method.

Conti C.A.R.E. is a high-quality-tuned networking of wheel and tire engineering to deliver desired effectiveness qualities. In mixture with ContiConnect, Conti C.A.R.E. kinds a versatile system option that can offer a signifies of tire management for contemporary robo-taxi fleets, for instance, boosting effectiveness as very well as supporting to optimize costs.

What is the most powerful initiative your firm has or is using to handle sustainability?

Continental is dedicated to building the tire of the upcoming even a lot more strength-effective and environmentally helpful in terms of output, use and recyclability. We are systematically investing in the investigate and progress of new systems, alternative components and environmentally friendly output procedures.

By 2050, we are concentrating on for all tires to be created from 100% sustainable resources. In addition, we intention to make the creation of all our tires totally carbon-neutral by 2040 at the most recent.

At the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, we introduced our sustainable tire concept Conti GreenConcept to the community for the initial time. With this strategy research, we are giving an outlook on latest and potential technologies for the design of sustainable passenger tires.

In the in close proximity to upcoming we will be implementing individual aspects of the examine in series generation, these as the use of sustainable polyester yarn derived from recycled PET bottles.

Continental is the 1st tire producer that has introduced volume production of recycled polyester yarn from PET plastic bottles. The new significant-overall performance material will initial be applied in picked measurements in the European market.

Companies also should really not neglect the effect of rolling resistance. Continental estimates that 35% to 60% of gasoline use is caused by rolling resistance, based on the selection of tires on the vehicle.

Currently, we present goods with best rolling resistance to assist minimize gasoline charges and emissions from each passenger cars and business motor vehicles. Our tires took to start with spot in gasoline efficiency for equally regional and long-haul industrial cars.

Our objective is to be the most progressive tire organization in conditions of environmental and social responsibility. For us, sustainability usually means looking at the full worth chain of a tire, as all pieces are intertwined. For illustration, new, recycled or renewable components all have an personal affect on safety and general performance-related conditions in the use section of a tire.

To this close, we commit a whole lot of work in investigate and progress and in tests new materials right before we are positive they can be utilised in mass output. In the finish, Continental has quite bold sustainability targets but will in no way compromise on protection and efficiency of its products.

Do you expect any other major investments in the upcoming six months?

In addition to our plant investments, we are executing our formerly declared expansion of the South Carolina headquarters as a sign of our dedication to the U.S. sector.

What are some of the problems experiencing the industry?

Higher inflation as very well as attracting and retaining personnel appear to be difficulties throughout the overall U.S. sector. This arrives on major of the aforementioned concerns connected to raw product offer and throughout the world logistics bottlenecks.

Now that the firm’s initially 150 several years is comprehensive, what is in advance in the upcoming 150 several years?

Staying much more than 150 years in the tire enterprise is an extraordinary achievement. It illustrates our trustworthiness and speaks to our wealth of practical experience. In excess of our background, we’ve gone from remaining a nearby German tire manufacturer to a world wide powerhouse with spots in 52 marketplaces, many thanks to operational excellence and regular innovation.

As we look to the long run, we see Continental driving ground breaking subject areas, remaining buyer oriented and fully commited to our crew tradition. With digitalization in tires, absolutely new chances are arising. By connecting the tires employing our digital tire checking methods, we can give our clients new and successful provider choices.

We also intentionally contact our sustainability functions “Our Accountability” in our method software. We are certain that sustainability is our obligation, each environmental and social.

We continue being focused on what our shoppers want and present tailor-made answers to their troubles. This 360-degree technique permits us to provide as a holistic alternatives supplier.

All of this is probable many thanks to our crew. From working day just one at Continental, team spirit came initially. For many of our team users, Continental is additional than just a workplace, and we keep on to build this tradition today.

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