Continental AG began celebrating the 90th anniversary of its first agricultural tire launch one year early with the introduction of its Tractor70 and Tractor85 premium radial tires in 2017.
After selling off its agricultural tire segment in 2004, the license for producing and marketing agricultural tires under the Continental brand passed to CGS Holding a.s. But Continental reaquired the brand rights in 2016.
"Over the last ninety years, we have repeatedly proven how agriculture customers all over the world can rely on Continental as a partner to provide innovative and efficient solutions," says Enno Straten, head of commercial specialty tires at Continental.
"Mega-trends such as digitization, connectivity and automation are significantly changing the face of the agricultural sector and the everyday work of farmers, and the productivity of agricultural machinery, including suitable tires, plays a key role in this. For this reason, we will continue our work to develop and expand our portfolio of agricultural tire in the future."
Here's an abbreviated rundown of the history of Continental ag tires, courtesy of Continental.
The story of Continental’s agricultural tires begins in 1928, when the company launched Europe’s first pneumatic agricultural tire in the form of the T2 agricultural tractor tire (AS). It was only four years later when the next development, the T3 AS tire, was impressing customers with its optimized tread and improved tractive force. Continental revolutionized the market once again in 1938: The company decided not to link individual tread lugs in its new T4 AS tire. Since then, the tread lugs in agricultural tractor tires have been separated in the tread center, which created a higher tractive force. In addition, minimal slip ensured effective interlocking with the soil, rendering chains and grippers redundant.
In 1955, an especially robust and high-grip tire arrived on the market in the form of the Continental Farmer (AS). Thanks to a new ribbing with tapered, reinforced cleats, widening of the lug tread and improved self-cleaning properties, the Farmer AS demonstrated a 20% increase in traction on virtually all soils compared with previous models.
Internationalization -- and the sale of its brand rights
Continental was expanding its business internationally by the end of the 20th century, and markets in North America and Europe formed the focus of its expansion in particular. In 2004, the agricultural tire segment was sold off as a result of concentrating its business as a whole. In the course of this sale, the license for production and marketing agricultural tires under the Continental brand passed to CGS and its Mitas subsidiary. The development and sale of products and solutions from the Continental Automotive segment continued unaffected, and customer demand for Continental’s agricultural tires continued to increase.
2017: The success story continues
In 2016, Continental reacquired its brand rights, and returned to the agricultural tire market in 2017 with its Tractor70 and Tractor85 premium radial tires. Both tires are manufactured in the company's new state-of-the-art production facility in Lousado, Portugal. The tires are characterized by their extreme robustness and durability; at the same time, Continental says they guarantee a high degree of ride comfort, soil preservation and tractive force.
Both standard tires feature Continental’s innovative, patented N.flex technology, which increases impact absorption thanks to the nylon textile, and improves shock absorption thanks to its robust carcass.
In August 2018, Continental added the new TractorMaster radial tire with leading-edge D.fine technology to its portfolio.
Continental says it will continue to expand its portfolio of agricultural radial tires, and will offer a total of 100 sizes by 2019.
An overview of the whole Continental agricultural tire history can be found at www.continental-tires.com.