Continental AG is one of the oldest and largest tyre manufacturing companies in the world. It was originally named ‘Continental Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie’, but presumably the executives didn’t think that was a snappy enough name.
Like many other modern tyre companies, Continental was founded as a rubber manufacturing company, under the rather lengthy name mentioned above. It was founded in 1871 by a group of nine German bankers and industrialists. Among the first products made by the company were horseshoe buffers and solid tyres for carriages.
In 1882 the company registered its trademark prancing horse emblem with the imperial patent office in Germany; a trademark that remains the company emblem to this day. In 1892 Continental became the first German company to manufacture pneumatic bicycle tyres.
In 1921 Continental created the first giant pneumatic tyre for use on commercial vehicle such as vans and trucks. In 1943 Continental was the first company worldwide to file a patent for a tubeless tyre design.
Continental AG is a less straightforward tyre manufacturing company than some of its competitors. Firstly, Continental doesn’t just make tyres: the company also manufacture brake systems, powertrains, chassis components, and tachographs among other products.
Continental dropped out of the DAX Index (an index of the top 30 companies trading on the Frankenfurt Stock Exchange) in the late 2000s, but regained its position in 2012.
It has an impressive product range, covering cars, 4x4s and light trucks and van. You can view the Australian product range here.