“Three group sectors under one roof: Automotive, Tyres and ContiTech. This makes us unique. No other company on the market can offer what we do,” said Nikolai Setzer, CEO, Continental, at the virtual 2022 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.
The company covers customer markets with its three group sectors, including automotive original equipment and spare parts manufacturers, fleet operators, major industrial customers, and end customers.
“This gives us three advantages, downward and upward trends in the markets balance each other out depending on the situation; our broad positioning makes us attractive to employees and we create synergies,” Setzer added.
He continued that in addition to tyres, Continental’s fleet customers also gain access to digital systems such as ContiConnect 2.0, which monitors tyre conditions in real-time. The same applies to the conventional automotive business, where the company supplies software in addition to the hardware.
“We continue to provide updates after a new car goes into production, thus leveraging our full potential,” the CEO noted.
The technology company is also taking advantage of new partnerships with Amazon Web Services, for instance, which began in 2021, and aims to speed up the exchange of data within the vehicle infrastructure.
“Meanwhile, in areas such as automated or autonomous driving, our focus is on innovation, development and testing. In the medium term, however, growth here must also be profitable,” Setzer added.
He explained that the company’s own strengths and the right strategy are crucial for creating added value and gaining an edge over the competition.
“Three pillars are crucial in this regard: enhancing performance, optimising our portfolio and seizing our opportunities,” he said.
The company believes that the key to profitable growth is turning new trends into new opportunities in sustainability, safety, and connectivity.
In 2021, it has invested more than an additional € 110 million in assisted and automated driving, while on research and development as a whole, it has spent € 2.6 billion, an official statement from the company said.
Its new cross-domain HPC, which is currently under development in China, is even faster and controls multiple systems simultaneously, despite very different requirements, the release added.
Furthermore, with its Net|Zero|Now immediate action programme for climate change mitigation, the technology company offers its customers the opportunity to achieve carbon neutrality along the entire value chain for their business.
The programme aims to enable customers with ambitious sustainability goals to neutralise the remaining carbon backpack of their relevant business with Continental, the company said.
This includes all emissions generated by processes at the company and its suppliers and following end of use but does not include the customer’s use phase and emissions.
Setzer added, “More than 50% of the materials we use to manufacture this Conti GreenConcept tyre are renewable and reusable. In an industry first, the materials also include polyester from PET bottles.”
“We will also make use of carbon black from scrap tyres. At the same time, we are working hard to obtain natural rubber from dandelions on an industrial scale because sustainability is a key priority for us,” he concluded.