Structure of the Corporation

The structure of our corporation enables us to respond quickly and flexibly to customer requirements and is geared toward sustainable value creation.

Market- and customer-oriented corporate structure
Founded as Continental-Caoutchouc- und Gutta-Percha Compagnie in 1871, Continental-Aktiengesellschaft (AG), headquartered in Hanover, Germany, is now the parent company of the Continental Corporation. The Continental Corporation comprises 510 companies, including non-controlled companies, in addition to the parent company Continental AG. The Continental team is made up of 220,137 employees at a total of 427 locations in 56 countries.

The Executive Board of Continental AG has overall responsibility for management. The divisions each have their own Executive Board member who represents them. With the exception of Corporate Purchasing, the central functions are represented by the chairman of the Executive Board, the chief financial officer, and the Executive Board member responsible for Human Relations. They take on the functions required on a cross-divisional basis to manage the corporation. These include, in particular, finance, controlling, law and IT, sustainability, the environment, and quality management.

Our corporate culture and values establish and foster a common understanding of how we collaborate across organizational, hierarchical and geographic boundaries.

Our customers come from the automotive industry, various key industrial sectors (e.g. railway engineering, machine and equipment engineering, and mining) and the end-user market. We supply them with high-quality innovative or established products, systems, and services around the world. Focusing on the market and on customers is a key success factor. Our global corporate structure is based on a balance between decentralized organizational structures and centralized functions. In this context, central management areas and operating activities are closely aligned. This means that we can respond quickly and flexibly to market conditions and our customers’ requirements and ensure that the Continental Corporation sustainably creates value.

The Continental Corporation is divided into the Automotive Group and the Rubber Group, which in the year under review comprise a total of five divisions with 29 business units. A division or business unit is classified according to products, product groups, and services or according to regions. Differences result primarily from technological requirements, innovation and product cycles, the raw materials base, and production technology. Other factors include economic cycles, competitive structure, and the resulting growth opportunities. The divisions and business units have overall responsibility for their business, including their results.

427 locations in 56 countries

427 locations in 56 countries

The Automotive Group is made up of the Chassis & Safety, Powertrain, and Interior divisions. With total sales of €24.5 billion, the Automotive Group generates 60% of consolidated sales. The Rubber Group comprises the Tire and ContiTech divisions, which look after our rubber- and plastics-based activities. The Rubber Group accounts for sales of €16.1 billion and therefore 40% of the Continental Corporation’s sales.

Automotive Group:

  • The Chassis & Safety division develops, produces, and markets intelligent systems to improve driving safety and vehicle dynamics.
  • The Powertrain division integrates innovative and efficient system solutions for the powertrains of today and tomorrow.
  • Specializing in information management, the Interior division develops and produces information, communication, and network solutions.

Rubber Group:

  • The Tire division is known for maximizing safety through short braking distances and excellent grip as well as reducing fuel consumption by minimizing rolling resistance.
  • The ContiTech division develops, manufactures, and markets products for machine and plant engineering, mining, the automotive industry, and for other important sectors.

Structure of the Continental Corporation

Structure of the Continental Corporation

Interconnected value creation
Research and development (R&D) takes place at 146 locations, predominantly in close proximity to our customers to ensure that we can respond flexibly to their specific requirements and to regional market conditions. This applies particularly to the R&D projects of the Automotive Group and the ContiTech division, both of which have a decentralized organizational structure. The product requirements governing tire business are largely similar all around the world. They are adapted according to the specific requirements of each market. In this respect, R&D has a largely centralized structure in the Tire division. Continental invests more than 6% of sales in R&D each year. For more information, see the Research and Development section.

Continental processes a wide range of raw materials and semifinished products. The purchasing volume comes to €26.3 billion in total, €17.5 billion of which is for production materials. The Automotive Group uses primarily steel, aluminum, precious metals, copper, and plastics. Key areas when it comes to purchasing materials and semifinished products include electronics and electromechanical components, which together make up around 44% of the corporation’s purchasing volume of production materials. Furthermore, mechanical components account for a quarter of this volume. Natural rubber and oil-based chemicals such as synthetic rubber and carbon black are key raw materials for the Rubber Group. The total purchasing volume for these materials amounts to nearly a sixth of the total volume for production material. For more information, see the Development of Raw Materials Markets section in the Economic Report.

Globally interconnected value creation

Globally interconnected value creation

In line with our strategy, production and sales in the Automotive divisions and in the ContiTech division are organized across regions. With major locations in Europe, the U.S.A., and China, we have tire production activities, in which economies of scale play a key role, in the three dominant automotive markets in terms of production and vehicle numbers. Low production costs coupled with large volumes or high rates of regional growth constitute key success factors. Sales activities in the Tire division are performed worldwide via our dealer network with specialty tire outlets and franchises as well as through tire trading in general.

With a share of 73% of our consolidated sales, the automotive industry (original equipment) is our largest customer segment. And the importance of this industry to the growth of the Automotive Group is equally high. In the Rubber Group, the tire business with end customers dominates. At ContiTech, other key industries play an important role alongside the automotive industry, such as machine and plant engineering, mining, and the oil industry.