HANOVER, Germany—In a keynote address at the Tire Technology Expo conference in Hanover, Continental A.G. executive Christian Koetz set out the tire maker's strategy for addressing the complex challenges facing the industry in the years ahead.
“Predicting the future is key to the success of Continental,” the group's executive vice president, business unit, replacement PLT tires, EMEA, said at the Feb. 16 opening session of the conference.
But instead of extrapolating past and current trends, the Hanover-based group has turned to a scenario-based approach to help it better assess what mobility will look like in the years ahead, Koetz explained.
He listed seven scenarios that an expert-led project at Continental had arrived at: Economic weakness; materialism; basic mobility; ecology first; sustainable consumption; mobility pragmatism and mobility transformation.
The last of these scenarios would see greater emphasis on vehicle standardization, public transport and autonomous vehicles, said Koetz, “that we in the tire industry are both scared and excited about.”
While elements of each scenario were likely to materialize, the goal for Conti was to prioritize around which scenario was most likely to predominate.
Koetz said the changes that lie ahead—including increasing regulation, intelligent cars and a shift from crude-oil based materials—will drive new requirements.
“I am convinced that the tire is by no means a mature product from a technological point of view. Our industry is getting more and more specialized [in developing] intelligent tire technologies that are safer, more sustainable and more affordable,” the executive said.