By Chris Sweeney, Crain News Service
HANOVER, Germany (Aug. 2, 2015) — Continental A.G.'s recent decision to boost annual capacity at its 4-year-old tire plant in Hefei, China, will allow the firm to start bidding on OE business in China in addition to filling demand from its growing replacement market customer base.
That's the assessment of Nikolai Setzer, a member of Continental's executive board and the head of Conti's Tire Division.
“You have to build over time your replacement market, which we did,” Mr. Setzer said. “We have in the area of 4,500 shops carrying our brand [in China]. We needed that time to ramp up the replacement business in accordance to our distribution power.”
In the meantime, the firm started receiving strong interest from OE manufacturers, prompting the need to expand capacity to meet the incoming demand, Mr. Setzer said during Continental's TechShow in Hanover recently.