‘Tyre-d’ And Tested — Celebrating Continental’s 150th Anniversary

Continental, the German automotive parts manufacturer, is celebrating 150 years. We take a look at its tyre manufacturing milestones over time to see key achievements in the last 150 years.

By:July 21, 2021 2:46 PM
continental tyres celebrates 150 years

Continental celebrates a massive milestone its 150th anniversary. Since its inception in 1871 in Hanover, Germany, Continental has been at the forefront of connected mobility and sustainability. Having started in a small factory 150 years ago, Continental quickly advanced, becoming a global brand that now operates in 58 countries. 

continental tyres celebrates 150 yearsChristian Kötz, the Head of the Tyres Business and member of the Executive Board of Continental

Continental is independent and also one of the oldest tyre manufacturers in the world. In its 150 years of existence, Continental has consistently set standards with its innovation. The company, along with its engineers, has ensured that tyres become safer, efficient, and more sustainable. 

Some notable milestones for Continental:

In 1999, Continental decided that in order to develop advanced driver assistance systems, tyres are an ideal source to collect data.   The company is linking its tyres and sensors to the cloud to offer customers smart solutions.

continental tyres celebrates 150 yearsContinental launches detachable rim in 1908

Christian Kötz, the Head of the Tyres Business and member of the Executive Board of Continental, said, “Tyres are our passion. Our technological excellence has ensured safety, reliability, and sustainability for 150 years. We are proud of this.” He added, “Many of today’s technology standards in tyres come from Continental. Time and time again, we push the boundaries of what is possible. Our goal is to produce our entire product portfolio exclusively from sustainable materials in a climate-neutral way by 2050 at the latest.”

In 1871, Continental’s product portfolio included rubber products, such as toy balls, rubber mats, roller coverings, rubberised fabrics or balloons, and solid tyres for carriages and bicycles. In 1892, Continental became the first German manufacturer to make pneumatic bicycle tyres, and later in 1898, started making pneumatic tyres for cars. At this point, car tyres were hard and offered limited handling capabilities until the German company introduced the first treaded tyre in 1904. 

continental tyres celebrates 150 yearsThe “Urban Taraxagum” bicycle tyre is produced with natural rubber
from the dandelion plant.

As industrialisation needed tyres for varying products and comfort becoming a priority, Continental came up with an innovative idea for the time a detachable rim, which made wheel and tyre mounting easier. To mark the firm’s 50th anniversary, Continental launched tyres for commercial vehicles, and later on, tyres for agricultural use in 1928. The T2 agricultural tractor tyre was the first pneumatic agricultural tyre in Europe, while solid tyres saw a major revolution in 1932.  

Continental introduced solid tyres for industrial machinery such as forklifts, airport vehicles, and other heavy-duty industrial applications. The term CSE, commonly used in the solid tyre category today, originates after Continental’s success in making the ContiSuperElastic solid rubber tyre. 

A notable milestone in the 20th century is Continental’s first tyre made of synthetic rubber, launched in 1936. Due to the shortage of material during the years of war, the manufacturer launched the first research series to obtain rubber from Russian dandelions. A project that was looked into again in 2011 and has been successfully pushed forward since then.

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