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Continental unveils integrated strategy for fleets

LOUISVILLE Ky. -- The trucking industry may know Continental for its tires, but there is a lot more to the company than that.

LOUISVILLE Ky. — The trucking industry may know Continental for its tires, but there is a lot more to the company than that.

In fact, only 40% of Continental AG’s sales comes from tires. The global company, which boasts a workforce of more than 170,000 employees, is also involved in powertrain, chassis, interior design and technology products. And it is trying to leverage that 360-degree viewpoint to lower driving costs for fleets through an integrated global automotive force.

At the Mid-America Trucking Show today, Continental’s executive vice-president for truck tires in the Americas Paul Williams said the tire maker has begun better synergies with others in the Continental AG family, acting as “One Continental.”

“We have more than 170,000 employees; and nearly one in 10 of these are involved in engineering or research and development. We have 269 locations in 46 countries. No other tire company has the added value of our automotive divisions that cover Chassis and Safety, Interior and Powertrain, plus our ContiTech partners in the rubber group,” Williams explained, providing an overview of Continental AG’s structure worldwide.

Williams added that when you tie in all of the products and services that Continental provides they directly impact 30% more of a fleet’s direct driving costs than would be provided through tires alone.

How the Commercial Vehicle Tire business unit plans to deliver these lowered driving costs, Williams said, is through a new customer service approach known as Conti360º. The approach allows for:

– Greater transparency, more flexible product development and tires which are best-in-class for first life performance and extended retread life.
– The ability to reach trucking fleets more than ever before, by doubling the technical support team and aggressively adding sales personnel.
– More hands-on service. Continental personnel have already hand-checked more than 47,000 truck tires using the ContiTrack2 tire analysis tool.

In order to deliver on these promises, Williams announced that Continental would take the following steps:

– The truck tire portfolio will be completely revitalized over the next four years, with a new sidewall, naming convention, Generation 3 technologies and all new products. Continental will launch its first product in this new portfolio for NAFTA, the Conti Hybrid HD3, at MATS.
– ContiLifeCycle will continue to grow, with a total of 26 outlets in the Americas since its inception in 2010. An additional six licensees will be announced in the coming months.
– Seven additional retreads are expected to be submitted to the US EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership by the end of the year.

Williams noted that for the second year at Mid-America, Continental Commercial Vehicles and Aftermarket is showcasing a wide range of solutions together with their tire colleagues. Featured products include:

– Continental’s VDO RoadLog, an EOBR and compliance tool on the market, with no monthly fees and no long term contracts.
– Continental 360 Degree Camera Surround System, an intelligent camera system for commercial vehicles makes the blind spot visible and enables 360-degree monitoring of the vehicle and its surroundings at a single glance.
– The Continental Flexible Smartphone Docking Station (FSDS) that integrates drivers’ smartphone with their vehicles. This  FSDS solution links smartphones and vehicles to make the phone usable in a safe manner while driving.
– VDO instrumentation, designed to deliver world-class accuracy, reliability and technology at very competitive pricing for medium- and heavy-duty truck applications.

Tying together many of the Continental companies is the new Commercial Vehicle Tire mobile marketing vehicle, dubbed the “Conti360º Tour.” Continental’s new truck tires, the ContiLifeCycle philosophy for retreading, technology displays and tire knowledge modules are featured inside. The Commercial Vehicle Tire, Commercial Vehicles and Aftermarket, and Body and Security business units of Continental have all contributed to products used on the new touring vehicle, including the ContiPressureCheck tire pressure monitoring system.

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1 Comment » for Continental unveils integrated strategy for fleets
  1. Frank Carter says:

    Having just read this article, it is staggering to see everything that Continental is involved with and in many instances is the innovator of. But one significant project not mentioned is the collaboration between Continental and BMW to come up with the first totally viable fully automated car. Just imagine the effect this would have on the haulage industry, if trucks became fully automated thus doing away with the rest periods that drivers must now take. A truck on the road for 24/7 – the driver being able to take his breaks whilst the truck takes over – amazing. I see also that Continental is currently working together on around 30 different projects with another giant – their largest shareholder Schaeffler. I have a feeling that the next 10 years will be mind blowing !

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