The international expert jury not only named Continental Tyre Manufacturer of the Year but also had special praise for the recycling of rubber from end-of-life tyres in conjunction with the retreading of truck tyres at the ContiLifeCycle plant in Hanover. Both awards were presented at a ceremony held at the Tyre Technology Expo fair in Cologne, Germany.
Jörg Nohl, Vice President Engineering Tyres, and Christian Sass, Head of Continental Truck Tyre Retreading EMEA, received the awards for Continental at the ceremony in Cologne.
Jury member David Shaw, Head of Research at Tyre Industry Research, had this to say: "To my mind, Continental has combined the global strategic view with great products and a vision of a more sustainable future. The new plant in Sumter, USA, shows commitment to a global future, while the Hurricane machine demonstrates a desire to reduce, reuse and recycle. Meanwhile, their car and truck tyre products continue to win praise from independent testers and fleets."
"We are delighted to be named Tyre Manufacturer of the Year 2014," said Nikolai Setzer, Continental Executive Board Member responsible for the Tyre Division. "As our Tyre Division is currently midway through realizing its Vision 2025, the timing couldn’t be better. This is great appreciation for our global tyre team for the successful execution of our long-term growth plan, which is based on substantial investments in expanding our existing tyre plants and building several new ones. We are also extending the high-tech testing capabilities of our proving grounds as well as investing in new premium products, processes and technologies at the highest level. In addition, as official sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and of UEFA EURO 2016T in France we are continuing to invest in our premium brand Continental."
At the same time, Continental is stepping up its presence in the tyre trade, not least through acquisitions and the integration of additional franchise partners, preparing the ground for a long-term rise in the global volume of sales.
Praising the ContiLifeCycle plant, jury member Joe Walter, an adjunct professor at The University of Akron said: "Utilizing end-of life rubber products should lead to a significant reduction in Continental’s corporate carbon footprint while producing retreaded tyres in an environmentally friendly fashion. This recycle-retread initiative seems to be win-win for the consumer and the environment."
"We are delighted that our ContiLifeCycle plant has been named Tyre Manufacturing Innovation of the Year," said Christian Sass, who heads up the Truck and Bus Tyre Retreading segment at Continental. "We see this as confirmation that, with our globally unique combination of rubber recycling and truck tyre retreading, we have come up with a sustainable solution. In the space of 18 months our team transformed the vision of an innovative retreading and recycling solution into a reality. The outcome is a retread solution that is even more sustainable and has reached a new level in terms of product performance and characteristics."
The Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence are a celebration of far-sighted endeavor in the field of tyre development and manufacturing. A shortlist of contenders is drawn up based on nominations from readers and the editorial team at Tyre Technology International. The shortlist is then passed on to an independent jury of international tyre experts who evaluate the nominees and select the winners. The awards are presented each year in February at a ceremony staged at the Tyre Technology Expo fair in Cologne, Germany.