Operating out of Hanover in Germany, Continental AG is one of the leading auto suppliers worldwide and largest tire manufacturers globally, operating on every continent. The company was originally founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, producing soft rubber products, rubberized fabrics, and solid tires for carriages and bicycles. With the advent of mass automobile production, the company changed its focus to manufacturing and developing tires for cars, trucks, bicycles, and agricultural products. The tire manufacturing division of the company generated revenue of around 14 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, accounting for about one third of Continental’s total revenue. The company has also expanded into automotive parts manufacturing, producing brake systems, powertrain and chassis components, automotive electronics and safety, and other parts for the industry.
Today, the company's operations are more varied and structured into various segments, most notably the automotive and rubber technologies segments. Continental's primary customers include Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen, Daimler AG, BMW, Volvo, Iveco, Freightliner Trucks, General Motors, Toyota, and Honda among many others.
Like many competitors, Continental is also tapping into the autonomous car market, which is forecast to reach a value of nearly 62 billion U.S. dollars in 2026. The company is developing technologies that will enable automotive manufacturers to fully automate their vehicles, such as new sensors, computer systems, and cluster connectivity. In 2017, Continental launched its driverless mobility project CUbE (Continental Urban Mobility Experience) to implement its self-driving technologies and in 2021, Continental acquired a minority stake in Recogni, a tech company working on object recognition for autonomous vehicles.
Continental’s main competitors in the tire manufacturing industry include Japan-based Bridgestone, France-based Michelin, and U.S.-based Goodyear. Regarding the broader automotive supplier market, Continental competes with Germany-based Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG, as well as with Denso Corporation, Magna International, Michelin, and Goodyear.
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