HANOVER, Germany (Nov. 2, 2012)—Continental A.G.'s tire division plans to become more global, enter new product segments and build as many as seven more tire plants by 2025 in addition to already announced projects.
Nikolai Setzer, head of Conti's tire business, said the German company is in the second portion of a three-phase growth plan, focusing now on accelerating growth in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russian, India and China) and elsewhere, and building a strong technological base.
That phase, he said, runs through 2015.
The third phase, from 2016–2025, will position Conti with a more balanced global footprint and take it to a top-three position in technology worldwide, he said. The executive said being No. 3 in global sales isn't as important as selecting geographical and market segments that drive profitable growth.
The next stage of expansion will involve three new factories in Asia, three in the Americas and probably one in the Eastern Europe, he said, in addition to the new plants announced in the current phase.
Concerning new segments to drive profitable growth, Setzer mentioned off-road mining and specialty tires as a potential opportunity in the commercial segment and two-wheelers in the consumer segment.
A major plank of the tire maker's strategy will be to build its truck tire business to become more representative globally and be a major player in the fleet sector, offering a full range of products and services to the global truck markets.
Setzer said Conti generates only around 4 percent of truck tire sales from the Asia-Pacific region. By 2025, this should rise to about one third, leading to a 33-33-33 split between the three main regions of the world.
Similarly in consumer tires, Setzer projected sales in Asian region will rise from 5 percent of the unit's total up to about 20 percent.