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The Truth About Continental Tires

Fitment Industries Author | | September 6th, 2018 |

  • - So it is the beginning of September which is the grandiose, wonderful, amazing, incredible, lovely weather time where everything around Wisconsin just absolutely sucks (bleep).
    - Mother nature!
    - You know when you're in the YMCA and you're in like, the tenth grade, and you were there because your parents made you go and you didn't really want to be there because every single time that you went into the locker room there was always something just really uncomfortable about it?

    So instead of talking about uncomfortable situations at the YMCA, we decided that we're gonna talk to you about Continental Tire which is a brand that you guys have requested in the comments. So before we get into it, don't forget to subscribe and hopefully you don't mind the fact that I look like I'm about to fall asleep and I probably sound a little bit nasally and that's okay because if I blink a lot, then all the water just goes away. So founded in Hanover, Germany in 1871, Continental Tire was actually just a stock agency company. Now, what did they do really well? You know, back in the early 18, 19 hundreds, companies just did stuff. Now, we've talked about this before. Companies just do stuff and Continental was just doing stuff. In fact one of the biggest things that they really got into was like, rubber manufacturing and paper manufacturing and just different things that they could possibly produce. They started out with soft rubber products and like, bicycle tires and things like that because just like every other tire company, it doesn't seem like they made stuff for cars because cars weren't really a thing at the time and in case you were wondering what the actual name of Continental Tire was back in 1871, it was not Continental Tires. It was Continental, Continental, Caoutchouc? Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Campa, Campa, Campaconie, Camp, Cabernacle. Tabernacle. Sunday, church. Okay, moving forward. Moving into the late 1800s in 1898, they developed a pneumatic tire that has a very simple flat tread pattern because through all the research and development that they were trying to get into, they realized that this was just a solid way to make a tire that people would want.

    Now back in the day, there wasn't a whole lot of revolutionizing happening, besides the fact that you have tires taking a long time to being made, depending on the certain structure that your factory had, Continental was essentially going through the same growing pains as a lot of other companies back in the same time frame. The difference between Continental Tire and other brands though, is that Continental Tire just wanted to get the craft down. They weren't trying to establish a million different patents, they weren't trying to revolutionize the wheel, they just wanted to make a product that people legitimately just wanted and that the suppliers and all the companies out there actually needed. In the early 1900s, they made different things for German airships, they made certain different you know, stuff. They made things. They made rubberized air pockets, like a Hot Pocket but imagine the Hot Pocket was filled with air, which his still probably a pretty accurate description of what Hot Pockets are. And then in 1904, they actually made a little bit of headway. They were one of the first companies to create grooved tires for automobiles and a few short years after, they continued to develop and improvise and kind of innovate this different type of design to essentially be more useful for all different types of weather. You could see it actually getting to be formed into what became a studded tire in the later years.

    Continental was trying to create products that just allowed people to get to where they needed to go if it wasn't just a beautiful sunny day. A lot of their earlier technology was really meant for airships and a lot of their records and a lot of things that they take a lot of pride in actually comes down to things that were used for airplanes. So, one of the first planes to ever travel across you know, the English Channel was done with a Mona plane that was covered with Continental airplane material. Wow. Pretty much what that means is that people were flying back in the day with Continental stuff and Continental was pretty happy about it. So much so that they didn't forget for about 114 years.

    And moving in through the 50's and 60's, they essentially got involved with anything that had to do with rubber products, so they made conveyor belts, they made steel and air springs, they made everything in between because at the same time while the tire business was going up, then going down, depending who was at war with who, and who won what war and what cold war was going on, a lot of these companies like Continental had to find a way to essentially mitigate all of the profit and loss over a long period of time and they did so by making products for pretty much everything to try and diversify their portfolio and put more legs underneath their stool. In fact, until the 1960s, Continental finally introduced a belted tire which is now probably a pretty standard thing, but back in the 60s, it was pretty iconic, and it revolutionized the name of Continental into becoming one of the major players for the game, but it wasn't until they got into the Americas in around 1987, that Continental truly began to grow, and they began to grow because of their essential acquisition of another tire company that you may have heard of: General Tires.

    So Continental was coming into the game, they were behind Michelin, they were behind Goodyear, they were behind all these other companies that were already in the United States, but Continental had one thing going for them, it was the fact that they were already pretty well established in the international market. Unlike a lot of other companies that were growing and then shrinking and then growing and then shrinking, Continental just continued to kind of gradually grow and acquire as much as they possibly could including General Tire which put them on the map in the United States. And in the 1990's, Continental Tire was one of the first brands to come up with an environmentally friendly tire that is a tire. I mean, 1990's. There wasn't a whole environmental thing happen in the 70s and happen again in the 90s and it's happening I think now, depending on if you're on Tumblr or not, but Continental Tire was trying to get involved in more innovation, more technology, more things that they could do to be ahead of the pack and just like everything else with Continental, they decided to develop in 1995 an automotive division dedicated to all sorts of automotive pieces and equipment and things like that, that would just help them establish another line of product that they could sell to OE suppliers at a fraction of what other people were charging them. And today, Continental ranks among the top five automotive suppliers worldwide.

    They supply break systems, systems and components for powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions vehicles, electronics, tires, and technical information. That's so boring, but they do it really, really well. They do it so well that they have OE partners like Audi, like BMW, like Jaguar, they have all these different companies out there that are wholly just kind of in bed with them and it works really well and Continental Tire is not really one of the companies to be in the limelight, but they are doing very well for themselves. So, does that mean that they make a good tire? Yes. Because of all the different little legs that they have in the automotive division, it allows the R and D to kind of pick and choose what they need to know for different departments and different divisions to make their products better. So the stuff that they learn from their infotainment solutions is the same stuff that they're gonna use to determine how much they need to go into R and D for drivetrains and things like that, depending on how people drive and where they go and then from there, they develop a lot of their tire solutions and how do they drive and the research and development behind that and then that gets fed to the OE suppliers and the OE suppliers will help make their wheels and tires and cars and things like that because of the information that Continental can provide. And Continental is a company that pretty much has it on lock when it comes down to that sort of system. From pretty much the late 80s, Continental has been a brand that's been all about just establishing growth all across the board and even though they got really close to kind of biting off more than they could chew in 2007 when they acquired quite a big chunk of a healthy division of another company, they still tend to do relatively well in today's market. Now, they're not the biggest, and they're probably not the most active. Continental does have a motor sport you know, phase.

    Kind of like when you were 16 and it was just a phase and then it ended in a couple of years, but Continental does play a pretty huge part in motor sports especially considering where you look, but that's not the huge facet of what Continental is really known for. A lot of their tires are great from their high-end competitive line to their all-season to their passenger car, to their truck. A lot of their semis and a lot of their commercial vehicles are really where Continental actually shines. So why is Continental Tires such a brand that a lot of people know but never really think about when they're buying in today's marketplace. Well, if you didn't know, a lot of the younger generation, the people like you, the people like me, even though I don't have facial hair I am not 16, I'm a little bit older than that. You're gonna see that a lot of tire companies are organizing their focus towards us in a cool way. Cool way, like Nitto, Toyo, companies like that. T