Continental unveils fleet strategy at MATS
Today at the at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), Continental Tire the Americas LLC described its truck tire strategy for 2013 as a 360-degree viewpoint that delivers lower driving costs for fleets through an integrated global automotive force.
MATS is taking place in Louisville, Ky., March 21-23, 2013.
Continental’s executive vice president for truck tires in the Americas Paul Williams said the tire maker has begun better synergies with others in the Continental AG family, acting as “One Continental.”
“We have more than 170,000 employees, and nearly one in 10 of these are involved in engineering or research and development,” said Williams.
“We have 269 locations in 46 countries. No other tire company has the added value of our automotive divisions that cover chassis and safety, interior and powertrain, plus our ContiTech partners in the rubber group.
“Working together with these sister divisions allows Continental Commercial Vehicle Tire to provide more of what today’s fleets need – a partner for their operations.”
Williams said Continental would like its customers to think of the comapny not as a tire manufacturer, but rather a provider of the lowest overall driving costs, which is Continental‘s truck tire brand promise for fleets worldwide.
“Through our approach that integrates safety, economic and environmental factors, we can tie in all of the products and services that Continental provides and directly impact 30% more of a fleet’s direct driving costs than we can provide through tires alone.”
How the Commercial Vehicle Tire business unit plans to deliver these lowered driving costs, Williams said, is through a new customer service approach known as Conti360º. The approach allows for:
- greater transparency, more flexible product development and tires which are best in class for first life performance and extended retread life;
- the ability to reach trucking fleets more than ever before, by doubling the technical support team and aggressively adding sales personnel; and
- more hands-on service. Continental personnel have already hand-checked more than 47,000 truck tires using the ContiTrack2 tire analysis tool.
In order to deliver on these promises, Williams announced that Continental would take the following steps:
1. The truck tire portfolio will be completely revitalized over the next four years, with a new sidewall, naming convention, Generation 3 technologies and all new products.
2. Continental will launch its first product in this new portfolio for North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Conti Hybrid HD3, at MATS.
3. ContiLifeCycle will continue to grow, with a total of 26 outlets in the Americas since its inception in 2010. An additional six licensees will be announced in the coming months.
4. Seven additional retreads are expected to be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership by the end of the year.
Williams noted that for the second year at MATS, Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket is showcasing a wide range of solutions together with their tire colleagues. Featured products include:
- Continental's VDO RoadLog, the most cost effective Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBR) and compliance tool on the market, with no monthly fees and no long term contracts.
- Continental 360-Degree Camera Surround System, an intelligent camera system for commercial vehicles makes the blind spot visible and enables 360-degree monitoring of the vehicle and its surroundings at a single glance.
- The Continental Flexible Smartphone Docking Station (FSDS) that integrates drivers’ smartphone with their vehicles. This innovative FSDS solution links smartphones and vehicles to make the phone usable in a safe manner while driving.
- VDO instrumentation, designed to deliver world-class accuracy, reliability and technology at very competitive pricing for medium and heavy-duty truck applications.
Tying together many of the Continental companies is the new Commercial Vehicle Tire mobile marketing vehicle, dubbed the “Conti360º Tour.” Continental’s new truck tires, the ContiLifeCycle philosophy for retreading, technology displays and tire knowledge modules are featured inside. The Commercial Vehicle Tire, Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket and Body and Security business units of Continental have all contributed to products used on the new touring vehicle, including the ContiPressureCheck tire pressure monitoring system. This system will be on sale for the first time at the Mid-America show.
“As ‘One Continental,’ we have benefits that no other truck tire company can match. We are absolutely committed to taking this 360-degree approach, working with our customers hand in hand, and bringing them whatever Continental products they need to operate more efficiently and meet their business goals,” Williams said.