Visualisierung der Wertschöpfung bei Continental durch das Symbolbild eines Baumes.
© Continental AG

The Future in Motion

The growing tree is the symbol of our business model and our value creation.

© Continental AG

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It is rooted in our four values and in our corporate culture. It merges tradition with the future. Its trunk grows with the nourishment of our three value streams, and its crown bears the fruit of our actions. We plan our strategy with a broad perspective so that it is always consistent with our vision and our mission.

Our objective: satisfied customers.

Our means of achieving that objective: giving people affordable access to safe, clean, intelligent and convenient mobility.

Our goal: ensuring that our organization is ready to meet the future.

The roots: our corporate culture and core initiatives

The seeds of our lasting success were sown when we were founded in 1871. Continental has been growing steadily ever since. 

Our workforce, now totaling more than 227,000 employees worldwide, is united by four traditional and central corporate values: TrustPassion To Win, Freedom To Act, and For One Another.

We are convinced that values create value. Our future viability is rooted in this. After all, only in a healthy, carefully cultivated corporate culture can the individual strengths of stakeholders be unleashed to their full potential in terms of the way they interact. This creates the necessary energy for profitable growth and generating the greatest possible value. Systematically promoting and shaping profitable growth is the task of our four integral core initiatives: 

 

  • “Quality First” for the highest level of quality 
  • “Continental Business System“, our initiative for creating the greatest possible productivity and healthy workflows 
  • Ultra-modern corporate culture for efficient and effective team spirit in global competition 
  • “Balance of Cooperation” for the right amount of centralized and decentralized responsibility. 

 

All four core initiatives inform our daily actions and our daily conduct. With them, we systematically strive for top performance in the long term. 

We once grew with horsepower and hoof buffers. Nowadays, our growth is driven by billions of bits and bytes. This is a process of transition: Continental the tire manufacturer, automotive supplier and industrial partner has become Continental the manufacturer of leading technologies and services. This process of ongoing change offers a range of opportunities for us.

Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental

The trunk: how we continue our profitable growth

As in other organizations, the trunk of our symbolic corporate tree is made up of three value streams: innovation, productivity and global growth. They form the engine behind our creation of value.

Innovation value stream: bringing the best ideas to market faster than our competitors

In our first value stream, we turn our best ideas into marketable products, systems, functions and solutions. Innovation is the combination of ideas and market success.

Innovations are among the most important types of our profitable growth. After all, leading, pioneering technologies and new business models that we bring to market more quickly than others are how we ensure our success.

We systematically design our corporate culture to guarantee the people in our organization the greatest possible flexibility and freedom to act as they see fit. The aim is for all employees to unleash their full potential with regard to their individual skills and talents, grow to help complete our tasks and objectives and thereby make the best contribution to our overall success that they can. This is how we make the best possible use of our organization’s full creativity.

Your Continental is right at the forefront when it comes to electric mobility. In the past few years, we have invested more than a billion euros in this future-oriented field, and the trend is rising.

Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental

Productivity value stream: remaining competitive by combining effectiveness and efficiency 

Productivity is the combination of efficiency and effectiveness. Being efficient means that we provide our services in the right way, conserving resources, employing the least possible effort and focusing on the essentials. However, these factors alone would not be enough to create value. That is because in the worst case, an organization could produce very efficiently but miss the needs of the market. That is why effectiveness is also required. Being effective means concentrating on the right services. These are those that lead to the desired result and, above all, inspire enthusiasm among customers.

Therefore, if you can optimize the cost/benefit ratio, you will be productive.

We increase our productivity every year, and thus our competitiveness and creation of value.

A quicker flow of information, continual workflows, constant improvements: This is what we call the flow principle based on the principles of lean management. No traffic jams, no lost time; roundabouts instead of traffic lights. With the aid of the Continental Business System (CBS), we methodically remove from all our processes anything that unnecessarily slows or extends the journey to the customer.

Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Chairman of the Executive Board of Continental

Global, profitable growth value stream: for sustainable and connected mobility

With the third value stream, we seize the opportunities to create value on the markets of the world. After all, worldwide demand for vehicles and individual mobility continues to grow. We are growing with it – and faster than the markets themselves! For this purpose, it is necessary to respond very quickly to constantly changing market requirements and individual customer demands. The flexibility required for this is embedded in our corporate values and our strategy.

Our strategic motto: decentralized wherever possible, centralized wherever necessary. We therefore develop, produce and purchase on site – where this makes sense – and operate in the market for the market. 

The crown: our vision, mission and seven strategic dimensions

The fruits of our corporate strategy grow in the crown of our tree. They are the value that we create overall and together. This value benefits all groups (stakeholders, such as customers, employees, investors, business partners, politicians and society) at Continental and makes our organization fit for the future.

We provide the best solution for each and every one of our markets and for each and every one of our customers. Our stakeholders appreciate us as a reliable partner that creates the highest possible value. Our solutions play a role in protecting people and their health, and they mean a higher quality of life, faster progress, increased environmental protection and more opportunities to personally shape the future.