Continental Completes 2 Acquisitions, Including 1 U.S. Tire Maker

Oct. 4, 2016

Continental AG is acquiring Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., as well as an 81% stake in Zonar Systems Inc., a fleet management company.

Financial terms of neither deal is being disclosed, Continental says.

For the past seven years Hoosier Racing Tire, based in Lakeville, Ind., and Continental have collaborated on several technical and motorsport projects. The acquisition was completed Oct. 3, 2016.

Nikolai Setzer, executive board member for Continental’s tire business, says, “This acquisition showcases the consequent execution of our long-term growth strategy Vision 2025, characterized by strategic planning and systematic implementation of technological progress. The acquisition of Hoosier Racing Tire is an exciting next addition to our product portfolio and will support our growth strategy, especially in the ultra high performance segment."

Jochen Etzel, CEO of Continental Tire the Americas LLC says: “Hoosier’s management team has built an impressive business. We believe Hoosier Tire is well-positioned to continue its strong growth, and we look forward to supporting that development through our complementary knowledge and extensive footprint. Hoosier’s management team will continue to run the racing tire business. We are committed to the employees, and the communities in which Hoosier operates. We look forward to the future of working together to accelerate growth.” 

Hoosier Racing Tire was founded in 1957 and "has a legacy of technical product knowledge, quality manufacturing, outstanding service, and consistent performance," Continental says. The company supplies tires for most racing applications throughout the world and employs nearly 500 people.

Joyce Newton, CEO and president of Hoosier, says: “Continental and Hoosier share a similar vision for continued growth and sales excellence. Hoosier has fantastic brand recognition, a high-performing team, established customer relationships and a great lineup of products. This acquisition will provide a stronger and more sustainable organization for Hoosier moving ahead."

Joyce and her late husband Bob Newton co-founded Hoosier Racing Tire. Bob died in 2012.

The Zonar deal

Continental also is acquiring a majority stake in Zonar, a smart fleet management technology provider. Continental takes over majority ownership, about 81%, while Daimler Trucks North America LLC maintains its minority stake of about 19%.

The contract was signed on Sept. 23, 2016, and has obtained the required vote of Zonar shareholders, but remains subject to final approval of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. The share acquisition is expected to be completed in the middle of the fourth quarter of 2016.

Zonar, headquartered in Seattle, is a technology solution provider that offers a range of fleet management offerings to public and private commercial vehicle fleets in North America. The company employs more than 300 people.

Continental says, "the two enterprises will combine their complementary strengths to become a major supplier in the sector and further expand both companies’ portfolios to offer additional smart fleet solutions to the market."

Helmut Matschi, president of the interior division and member of the executive board of Continental says,“With this move, we are further expanding our portfolio and expertise in the arena of mobility services, and fostering our regional balance by investing into a fleet management provider in the U.S. that gives us access to a broad customer base and existing sales channels."

Ian McKerlich, president of Zonar says, “It is exciting to move into a new chapter in Zonar history with the backing of a respected global brand that recognizes our need to serve our markets as a nimble, innovative, customer-focused company as we have for the past 15 years. Customers will receive the same productive partnership and innovation they have come to expect with Zonar, as well as expanded technological resources and capabilities from Continental."

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