Founded in 1871 in Germany, Continental began life making rubber for use in other products. It moved into tyre production in 1898 and was the first manufacturer to create patterned tread tyres in 1904. This was quickly followed by the innovation of a removeable tyre in 1908 to make repairing a puncture much quicker and easier.
After the Second World War, Continental was the first company to offer a dedicated winter tyre to deal with the snowy conditions found in many parts of Europe. It also enjoyed racing success with the likes of Mercedes and Porsche and notable drivers such as Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio.
In 1968, Continental was among the first test a driverless car at its Contidrom track. Today, Continental continues its work on autonomous vehicles alongside developing braking and safety systems.
Continental tyres are used as original equipment on many new cars and its products regularly score very highly in tests for braking, wet weather ability and high-performance driving. Its ContiSportContact Vmax won a Guinness World Record for being the fastest mass-produced tyre when it hit 225mph on a Porsche 911 GT3 in 2008. The company also produces tyres under several other brand names, including Barum, General Tire, Semperit, and Viking.