This year, TecDoc users benefit from a wide range of summer, winter and all-season tires in our updated catalogue. The following well-known brands are offered by Continental Tires: Continental, Uniroyal, Semperit, Barum, General Tire, Viking, Gislaved, Mabor and Matador.
We spoke to Andreas Bertram from the Central Key Account Management at Continental to understand his perspective on the independent automotive aftermarket (IAM) and the value of TecDoc to the tyre industry.
Tires are an essential component of the automotive industry. Is there a change in the way the tire business operates today?
Andreas Bertram: The entire independent aftermarket is in the middle of a transition process that includes the tire business. The product focus of the past has been replaced by a product and service focus with a strong trend towards digitization. There are many companies that keep adding one product after another to attract and keep customers. At some point, many customers can’t find what they are looking for or do not know what to choose. We need to offer solutions, not just products. This requires a change in the way we see our customers so that we can understand their needs, requirements and challenges.
Market players in the automotive tire market are focusing on strengthening their market positions by supplying technologically advanced tires to end-users. What differentiates you from the competition? What makes your offering attractive to the independent automotive aftermarket?
Andreas Bertram: Continental has a unique product portfolio with both tires and spare parts, while our direct competitors are either tire specialists or replacement parts suppliers. This advantage on the product portfolio side differentiates us; it allows us to further enhance our offering as one of the leading suppliers of the IAM. Our partners are looking for simplification in a world which is becoming increasingly complex. We can support them by offering the products and services they need from a single source.
“Adding the tire category to the TecDoc Catalogue supports this trend. TecDoc is now a holistic data provider for tires and replacement parts. This is a good example of leveraging digitization to simplify processes and create added value for the entire distribution chain.”
Andreas Bertram, Central Key Account Management at Continental
Advancement of technology: e-vehicles and tires. What changes do you anticipate?
Andreas Bertram: The electrification of the car parc is having a strong impact on the requirements for tires. Lower rolling resistance, noise reduction, handling of higher vehicle weight, and instant torque are the most important parameters that are changing.
There are now fully electric models available, from small and mid-sized cars to SUVs and high-performance sports cars. Individual tire configurations are required for each vehicle type. That is why we have been working on a portfolio that meets the requirements of all different types of electric vehicles while still sustainably reducing emissions from combustion vehicles. Today, we are covering most electric vehicles with our tire products.
Now that Continental tires are available in TecDoc, what are your expectations from the collaboration?
Andreas Bertram: We are looking back at a long and fruitful collaboration between Continental and TecAlliance that was started by our colleagues from Continental Aftermarket and ContiTech some years ago. Furthermore, Continental is one of the founding members of TecAlliance. This is because we trust in the strong value of an industry-standard platform like TecDoc. With all this shared history and close cooperation of our business units in the IAM, it was more than logical to complete our presence in TecDoc with tires. Providing an industry solution was the goal when TecDoc and Continental started discussions on offering tires in the TecDoc Catalogue.
Our main expectation from a tire industry perspective is to increase the visibility of our brands to our direct and indirect customers. This will make life easier for all partners who decide to identify and purchase our products via an industry-standard platform like TecDoc.
Do you see the tire data in the TecDoc standard as a new opportunity for the tire industry?
Andreas Bertram: Tire service and car service are closely related because the customer is looking for a one-stop-shop solution. Adding the tire category to the TecDoc Catalogue supports this trend. TecDoc is now a holistic data provider for tires and replacement parts. This is a good example of leveraging digitization to simplify processes and create added value for the entire distribution chain.
Increasing production and sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles worldwide is expected to drive the growth of the automotive tire market. What would you like to achieve worldwide – and how can TecDoc support you in this journey?
Andreas Bertram: As a global player, Continental aims to offer the same product and service commitment to all partners worldwide. Our tire activities in the IAM have a global scope as well. Smart services and solutions like TecDoc help us to fulfill this global commitment.
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic, and transportation. Continental generated preliminary sales of €37.7 billion in 2020 and currently employs more than 235,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.
The Tires business unit has 24 production and development sites worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tire manufacturers and generated preliminary sales of €10.2 billion in this business unit in the fiscal year 2020 with more than 56,000 employees.
Continental is one of the technology leaders in tire production and offers a wide range of products for passenger cars, commercial and special vehicles, and two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes an important contribution to safe, economical, and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tires business unit includes services for the tire trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tires.
More information about Continental tires: Continental Tires (continental-tires.com)