The list of criteria for a new car entering the market is endless. Manufacturers have countless aspects to consider, fine-tune and perfect before their new car can make the desired imapact.
One of the many decisions they need to make is which tyres are best suited. In the end, the decision of which tyre manufacturer is to be the car's original equipment provider is a decision based on trust. Trust in safety, as well as trust in performance capability.
At Continental, building trust with our customers and partners is elementary, and our story as original equipment providers speaks for itself. Time and time again, car manufacturers opt for our tyres.
When it comes to battery electric vehicles, the presence of our tyres as original equipment providers on a global scale is particulary remarkable. Today, nine out of the ten highest-volume OEM of electric vehicles worldwide rely on our tyres.
Our large market share in this area is also constantly rising, which is a testament to our efforts in sustainability topics, underlined, for example, by the fact that most of our tyres in our current product portfolio is compatible for electric vehicles.
Our dedication to sustainability is not going unnoticed by the automotive industry - it has long since become common knowlege amond the world's leading manufacturers that we are proactively contributing to the electromobility trend.
Whatever car tyre you rdrive, chances are that you are already driving around a car with our parts in it. Because car manufacturers in Europe trust our products so much, they use our tyres for every third new car in more than 800 models. This makes us the preferred choice of car manufacturers and places us well ahead of all our competitors.
Getting there was not an easy path: it takes an average of four years from concept study to one of our tyres being mounted on a new car made by an international manufacturer. During this time, we develop a tyre that is best-suited for the car model and the market where it is released and then subject it to around 100 internal tests. Car buyers ultimately want tyres of the highest quality and, above all, highest safety that last as long as possible and let them enjoy their new car for a long time.
OE tyre development is a highly demanding business. At what stage of developing a car do manufacturers typically get in touch with us?
Let me put it this way: when we receive an inquiry, we typically have between three and four years to develop the ideal tyre for a new car model. But right now, for example, we have inquiries about projects that have to be finalised in two years’ time. These extended deadlines allow us to meet the requirements more than adequately. In the best case, though, we would of course become involved in the concept stage of a new car development. And while that may not be the norm, it does happen.
What are the key performance characteristics that an automaker expects a tyre manufacturer to deliver?
It differs from one country to the next and indeed from one vehicle manufacturer to the next. Generally speaking, the core requirements primarily relate to safety, and to reducing rolling resistance, noise levels in the cabin and exterior noise – all without compromising on safety. The requirements also change over time, especially with new technologies. Back in the 1980s, for example, rolling resistance and fuel consumption played a relatively subordinate role, but that has changed fundamentally with the rise (and demands) of electric mobility. All in all, pushing the limits in every direction is the mission at hand.
How do you ensure that a newly developed OE tyre meets the high expectations of car manufacturers?
We run countless tests at the end of the development process, first in the labs and then out on the track. OE tyres in particular are subjected to comprehensive testing. The goal is to exceed our performance targets, be it for noise generation, deceleration or rolling resistance. Tests under lab conditions are followed by test drives under real-life conditions on our test tracks. Each team has its own test drivers to handle this task and evaluate if a newly developed tyre also works well on the road.
Taking delivery of a new car? Original Equipment tyres play an integral role in achieving a comfort and performance capabilities desired for a car, and greatly influences the driver's overall satisfaction with the vehicle. Most importantly, they guarantee safe journeys for you and your family.
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