- Know-how in exchange for points: Customers benefit from new digital service concepts
- Everything from one source: Product range expanded to include filters, wipers, batteries, turbochargers and brake discs
- More efficiency: The product range on offer supports processes in the workshop
Hanover, Frankfurt, July 2018. At this year’s automechanika, the technology company Continental will be presenting customer-oriented solutions and answers to future challenges. Vehicle workshops and dealers in the automotive aftermarket business are faced with an increasingly complex market environment. The challenges include digital technologies and the changing needs of the customers these technologies create, driver assistance systems, e-mobility and the constantly increasing level of connectivity. At automechanika in September in Frankfurt am Main (Forum, Booth A03/05), Continental will be showing how it is helping businesses on their routes into the future. The technology company will showcase new solutions, products and service concepts from its entire range for the automotive aftermarket. “Continental stands for original equipment competence and quality the world over. With our wealth of experience and our comprehensive portfolio from a single source combined with our digital services, we are the partner with whom our customers can secure their future in the rapidly changing automotive aftermarket,” says Peter Wagner, head of aftermarket and small-batch business for wear & spare parts and of diagnostics at Continental. “In the future, products will be a means to an end and only parts manufacturers who can combine their product expertise with services and offer integrated service solutions as a result, will actively shape the aftermarket business,” explains Rolf Sudmann, head of the aftermarket business for drive systems at Continental. These two experts will also be presenting their concepts for the future viability of the automotive aftermarket in a press conference on September 11 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Agenda room (Forum, Level 0).
New bonus program promotes the transfer of know-how
The industry is experiencing technological leaps, mainly driven by digitalization and connectivity – and these advances will also have an impact in the aftermarket. The demand for knowledge in the workshops, for example, will be considerably increased because employees must become familiar with the emerging technologies. Companies that do not adapt to new technologies such as e-mobility, driver assistance systems and remote diagnostics will lose customers – but those which adapt now can secure a real competitive advantage. In the future, Continental will also support workshops with its own bonus program, which will reward the loyalty of customers, and at the same time promote the development of knowledge. Every time a Continental product is purchased, registered workshops can collect points and redeem them online by simply scanning the product label. Continental puts a special emphasis on development opportunities for companies: Workshops can use these points not only for bonuses, but especially for training. Automechanika will see Continental present its loyalty program to the public for the first time.
Digitalization of workshop processes – service via voice control
At automechanika, Continental will also be presenting a new concept for controlling service processes and accessing repair information by voice command. Aimed at optimizing workshop processes, the project is being carried out in cooperation with TecAlliance and is another step towards full digitalization. The company is also continuously developing its Remote Vehicle Data Platform (RVD) for the connected car segment. The number of makes and models for which RVD provides a standardized cloud-based access to vehicle-specific data is constantly increasing and already covers many of the most common vehicles today. The first solution based on RVD is already on the market and more offers are in the starting blocks.
Windshield wipers, filters, batteries, turbochargers, brake discs – Continental’s broad product portfolio continues to grow
Continental is also taking advantage of its strong position as a manufacturer of original equipment to offer workshops even more spare parts in OE quality – and the technology company has recently expanded its product line with this in mind.
Many new additions to the portfolio will make their debut at automechanika, including an extensive range of windshield wipers and batteries from Continental, as well as gasoline, oil, cabin air and air filters for passenger cars from the Italian original equipment manufacturer UFI Filters. The two companies signed a strategic cooperation agreement at the beginning of the year and the filters will be available in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Benelux and Scandinavian markets under the Continental brand name from January 2019. In addition, turbochargers have been added to the product range. At automechanika Continental will unveil a turbocharger for Ford engines, manufactured for the automotive aftermarket. More turbochargers will be added in the course of time. The Continental brake discs family has also gained new additions, and more part numbers for the brake disc for Mercedes will be available in the fall. One of the few suppliers on the market to offer such an economically attractive alternative in comparable OE quality, Continental is expanding its range of products for the patented Mercedes-Benz two-part OE brake disc concept.
Easier handling of spare parts
Continental also wants to make spare parts handling for drive belts and water pumps easier for workshops. The water pump is a crucial component for the proper functioning of the engine and should also be replaced along with the belt. This is why the PRO-Kit series – a complete package with two timing belts and drive components – will also include water pumps in the future. Complete packages with V-ribbed belts and a water pump are also being added to the range, and a number of individual water pumps are also on the way.
New tire technologies for cars and trucks
Continental will also be presenting new tires from its Group brands for the coming winter season, including the Continental WinterContact TS860 S for premium sports cars. The new Continental AllSeasonContact and the new Uniroyal AllSeasonExpert 2 also ensure year-round safety and efficiency. In addition, the company will be showcasing two innovative technologies for commercial vehicles at automechanika. The iTire and the ContiConnect platform create smart truck tires with real-time digital links. For fleet managers, this is yet another step towards the future in tire management.