Continental, one of the largest tire and automotive technology suppliers in the world, is celebrating its 150th year in business in 2021. The company was founded in Hannover, Germany, in 1871. Over the next 15 decades, Continental transformed from a local manufacturer of tires and soft rubber products to an international technology company.
Today, Continental has nearly 15,000 employees in the United States. Worldwide, three out of every four vehicles on the road are equipped with the company’s tires or automotive technologies. An estimated one billion people place their trust in Continental every day.
Throughout this year, Continental will celebrate the company’s esteemed history with stories on how it became a driving force of technological progress. Before cars were even invented, the company began by manufacturing horse “hoof buffers” along with solid tires for carriages and bicycles. In 1904, Continental was the first company in the world to develop automobile tires with a patterned tread, and four years later invented the detachable rim. On the year of its 50th anniversary, in 1921, Continental produced its first commercial truck tires, and became the first German company to produce tires reinforced with pliable cords rather than linen fabric. Six years later, it launched the very first pneumatic tractor tire in Europe.