Benjamin Hübner has taken over as product line manager for Continental Commercial Specialty Tires’ Agricultural Tires business. In this function, he is responsible for the strategic development within the agricultural tyre segment.
Continental’s return to the agricultural tyre segment stems from an internal project undertaken in 2012 that sought out possibilities for extending the CST business. Thorsten Bublitz shares that the outcome of this project was a “clear recommendation to go back to ag,” and this decision was taken the following year. Specific development began in 2014 with the involvement of material developers and the writing of requirement books for particular developments. The search for a suitable production site also commenced.
It really isn’t a long time since Continental committed itself to return to the agricultural tyre segment. Within the space of four years, the company has developed the first products for its new portfolio, chosen and equipped a production site and recruited a team to further develop, sell and service the new range. The first Continental-made and branded agricultural tyres to see the light of day since 2004, the Tractor70 and Tractor85, publicly debuted at the Agritechnica show last November and are now available in the UK and European markets. Tyres & Accessories spoke with two founding members of the Continental agricultural team about the new products and the tyre maker’s agri market re-entry.
Given that the world’s population is growing and the area of land available for agricultural use is on the decline, farmers are under pressure to work their land more efficiently and with greater environmental sensitivity. In the run-up to its return to the agricultural segment, Continental reiterates that its new tyre range was specifically developed in response to this challenge.
Over a number of years, Czech tyre maker Mitas a.s. has distanced itself in steps from the Continental brand it’s produced under licence since 2004. Three years ago the company announced an extension of this licence until 2019, however recent events have spurred Continental AG to reclaim its agricultural tyre brand ahead of this date. Continental has now announced a €49.9 million investment in its own agricultural tyre business, and the company will begin producing agricultural radials next year.