LAS VEGAS — Continental A.G. is dropping "ContiTech" as a brand name for its line of aftermarket drive system components in North America, opting instead to align these products under the "OE Technology Series" name used internationally.
ContiTech USA Inc., the U.S. business that handles these products in North America, disclosed the rebranding recently at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo in Las Vegas.
The change affects products such as timing belts, timing chains, accessories and tools for automotive workshop, ContiTech said. The first product affected is the Multi V-Belt product range.
In doing so, Continental is pooling its in-house expertise in original and aftermarket equipment for automotive drive systems under a single strong brand, according to Rolf Sudmann, who is responsible for the aftermarket business for drive systems at Continental.
"The automotive innovations of today are the workshop business of tomorrow," he said. "Thanks to our corporationwide synergies, our customers can have confidence in our ability to promptly adapt current OE trends to the special needs of the aftermarket. That means we can offer demand-driven solutions that will prove a hit for distributors with their workshop customers."
As part of the brand shift, Conti updated its packaging design, with large-format images on the boxes illustrating which products they contain.
The transition is part of the company's strategy to energize and associate its North American products and services with its global automotive expertise, according to Dave Wenger, marketing manager, Continental aftermarket programs for North America.
"Continental," he said, "has a global reputation as the ultimate in technology, quality and reliable service, and the evolution to a uniform product image worldwide will strengthen our Continental brand even further and create a high level of acceptance along the distribution chain.
"Being under the umbrella of 'One Continental' allows us to share and communicate resources and knowledge among all businesses, increase focus on product development, and expedite innovative products to the automotive aftermarket, faster."
The products' new packaging is unaffected by oil and dirt, meaning that important information retains long-term legibility even in the harsh operating conditions prevalent in many workshops, and include QR codes that provide a cross-reference to free-of-charge installation tips and additional services.
Distributors will also benefit from the new design, Conti said, because they can distribute all aftermarket parts for automotive drive components from Continental under the same brand.
"That will definitely ensure greater clarity on the shelf," Mr. Sudmann said.