Happy Birthday, Continental!

You don’t celebrate a 150-year anniversary every day. Especially in such fast-paced and ever-changing times like today. This makes us all the happier about 150 years of Continental, together with our 193,000 members of staff at 560 locations in 58 countries and markets!

On October 8th, 2021, Continental is celebrating a special anniversary in its company’s history. 150 years have passed since it was founded in 1871 and during this time the company has become one of the world’s leading technology companies. Getting there was not always easy and was distinguished by far-reaching historical events and social and economic change. However, Continental has always remained true to itself and its values, and thanks to its openness and innovative strength, it ranks today as one of the oldest companies in Germany to make a decisive contribution toward promoting mobility worldwide. It is this balance between stability and change with which Continental has managed to reinvent itself over time. Daring to do something and facing challenges without neglecting a certain level of continuity and reliability. There are countless interesting facets from 150 years of company history that we want to celebrate together this October.

Transformation is a key word for this anniversary, as Nikolai Setzer, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental, emphasizes: “Our entire history has been one of many challenges, but also – and this is crucial – of many successes and sustainable growth. This not only makes us experienced, but has also kept us young and flexible in our thinking. We look back in pride at 150 years and look forward with optimism and confidence because we have shown that we can transform. This is the driving force for our success.”

“Today, on October 8th, our hearts are beating faster! Because today we are celebrating a milestone: Continental’s 150-year anniversary. We have so much to look back on - right from the start we made our mark on mobility, explaining why millions of people place their trust in us every day. Starting with only around 200 employees, over time we have grown into a company with lasting success, and with almost 200,000 colleagues worldwide. Transformation and change have always been part of our history, which is why we are confident about the new changes in mobility."

Join us and our CEO, Nikolai Setzer, in taking a look at Continental’s strategy for the immediate and distant future – pointing the way for the next 150 years.

We live diversity

You do not get through 150 years by yourself – above all, it is the staff who have made the company prosper over the years. They brought and bring strength, vision, creativity and the courage to change, tackling every challenge, even in difficult phases. “Responsibility and openness are what define our actions. Values such as Trust and the Passion To Win represent our corporate culture. It is the basis for our creativity and capacity for innovation. And we live diversity. This is what our technological portfolio and our workforce stand for,” emphasizes Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Member of the Executive Board for Human Relations and Sustainability. Every day about 193,000 people at more than 560 locations all over the world ensure that Continental sets the standard with its technological developments that goes beyond the industry. As a result, today the company is more international and diverse than ever before in its history.

Nobody can imagine what will happen in the next 150 years. But the most important thing is always to be on the move, without forgetting where you come from. As Nikolai Setzer tellingly sums up: “Our success in the past is the basis for our success in the future. Passion is the main driving force behind this. Our passion for mobility has stayed alive for 150 years – and will do so for the next 150 years.”

 

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary, we will show you the essence of our mission for greater mobility: Embark on a journey through the eventful history of the company since its founding in 1871 with fascinating motifs and experience the development of Continental into an international technology company. Behind every individual image there is a special story, which you can discover here.

“And action!” –
a new image film for Continental

Continental has given itself a special birthday present with the new image film “Mobility. Our Heartbeat for 150 Years.” Its main aim is to bridge the gap between the past, the present and the future. It shows what innovations and new products the customer and society can look forward to.

On show are all kinds of technological innovations from Continental, as a clear and entertaining roadmap to the future of mobility. It is all about exciting and, above all, important future topics such as automated driving, electric mobility, sustainability, connectivity and road safety.

A journey through the history of Continental

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If you would like to learn more about Continental’s company history, you can look forward to the anniversary publication “150 Years of Continental: The Skill of Transformation.” Company history expert Prof. Paul Erker and Continental archivist Dr. Nils Fehlhaber have taken a close look at the company’s history and guide the reader through 150 years of Continental in an informative and entertaining way.

The book makes it clear that Continental has long since outgrown its familiar image as a tire manufacturer. In nine chapters, Erker and Fehlhaber show that cultural openness and the courage to change and innovate have made a lasting contribution to the company’s success. From numerous sources, they illustrate the change and transformation that Continental has undergone over the years. Some aspects of the company’s development will not only surprise people, but will also permanently change the view of one of Germany’s oldest companies. A wealth of images also provide interesting insights into an extraordinary journey in time through Continental’s universe.

Prof. Paul Erker is a professor at LMU Munich for Modern and Contemporary History with a focus on the economic and corporate history and Dr. Nils Fehlhaber is the head of Continental’s corporate archive. The book was published in German and English in September 2021.

The book is available at De Gruyter.