HANNOVER, Germany (Nov. 13, 2012) — Continental A.G. is gearing up to expand into the large and OTR mining tire sectors as part of its growth strategy through 2025, and to that end will rename its Industrial Tires business unit "Commercial Specialty Tires" to reflect the change.
"Moving from Industrial Tires to Commercial Specialty Tires is not only about changing our name and adding some new products to the existing tire portfolio, it (also) is a big opportunity to broaden our scope and to develop our capabilities to better serve individual needs of our customers worldwide," said Michael Maertens, managing director of the newly renamed business unit.
The process of reconfiguring the unit started in October 2012 and is expected to be complete by January 2013, Conti said, at which time it expects to divulge more details of its plans in this area.
Conti said renaming the unit ties in with its global strategy and paves the way for growth in the speciality tires segment, which now comprises mostly pneumatic and solid industrial tires, with an emphasis on forklifts and other materials-handling equipment but also including tires for military vehicles, harbor and port freight haulers, etc.
Continental Commercial Specialty Tires will extend and enlarge its product range and customer service portfolio in the coming months and years, the company said, including "interdisciplinary execution" of projects for various industry sectors that will become a core competency of the business unit.
Conti did not quantify the size of its specialty tire unit currently or provide specific growth projections. Up to now this business has been considered part of the tire maker's commercial tire division, which in 2011 generated sales of $2.65 billion.
Conti makes specialty tires at plants in Korbach, Germany; Otrokovice, Czech Republic; and Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. It also has a joint venture in Sri Lanka with local maker Eu-Retec (Pvt.) Ltd. for production of solid tires for North America and Asia.
For a time the company produced General-brand large OTR tires at a plant in Bryan, Ohio. Conti sold the OTR business, including the Bryan plant, in 2006 to Titan International Inc.
This report appeared the website of European Rubber Journal, a U.K.-based companion publication of Tire Business.