Continental was founded in Hanover in 1871 as the stock corporation “Continental-Caoutchouc-und Gutta-Percha Compagnie”. Manufacturing at the main factory in Hanover included soft rubber products, rubberised fabrics, and solid tyres for carriages and bicycles.
In 1898, initial successes in development and production were celebrated with the creation of automobile pneumatic tyres with a plain tread. At the turn of the century, Continental balloon fabric was used to seal the gas cells for the first German airship. In 1904, Continental became the first company in the world to develop grooved tyres for automobiles, and in 1905 we commenced production of rivet anti-skid tyres, similar to the later studded tyres. Three years later we invented the detachable wheel rim for touring cars. In 1909, French aviator Louis Blériot was the first person to fly the English Channel. The flying surfaces of his monoplane were covered with Continental Aeroplan material.
In the late 1920s, the company merged with major companies in the rubber industry to form “Continental Gummi-Werke AG”.
In 1951, we commenced production of steel cord conveyor belts. In 1955, we were the first company to develop air springs for trucks and buses. Series production of belted tyres began in 1960. Around 30 years later we brought the first environmentally friendly tyres for passenger cars onto the market.
In 1995, the Automotive Systems division was established to intensify the systems business with the automotive industry. We presented the key technology for hybrid drive systems back in 1997.
Today, Continental ranks among the top 5 automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tyres and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication.
The Continental Corporation is divided into the Automotive Group and the Rubber Group, and consists of five divisions: