Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) is one of the stalwarts of the automotive industry in Port Elizabeth, with a legacy spanning more than seven decades.

Originally founded as a joint venture between General Tire International in the US and the local Williams Hunt Group, the General Tire and Rubber Company South Africa was officially registered in January 1947. The local operation was acquired by Continental AG in 1998 and renamed Continental Tyre South Africa (Pty) Ltd, creating the foundation to become one of SA’s leading tyre manufacturers and an integral part of Continental’s global family.

Over the past 72 years, it has become one of the industry leaders in South Africa, both within the automotive sector and in the development of Port Elizabeth as a world-class manufacturing hub. Continental Tyre currently employs over 1 300 people in South Africa.

“We celebrated our 70th anniversary in 2017 and continue to develop our business, our people and our products for the future,” says Shaun Uys, MD of Continental Tyre SA. “The company has expanded significantly over the years, meeting the growing demand for Continental and General Tire-branded products in the crucial original equipment and replacement tyre sectors.

“Our Port Elizabeth plant has benefitted from investments and upgrades to introduce the latest technologies, cutting-edge production processes and the most advanced tooling as we strive to maintain a competitive advantage and deliver the highest levels of quality, performance and safety which the Continental brand is renowned for.”

It is the only tyre company that supplies original equipment (OE) tyres to all seven local vehicle manufacturers, comprising BMW, Ford, Isuzu, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen – many of which are supplied to export markets around the world. Approximately 99 percent of these tyres are locally manufactured at the Continental Tyre SA plant in Port Elizabeth, with the balance being imported.

Continental also has a strong presence in the replacement tyre market with its Continental and General Tire brands.

CTSA also owns and operates the BestDrive franchise retail chain of tyre fitment centres across the region, run by its ContiTrade Africa business unit. The first BestDrive franchise store opened in November 2012, and there are now over 150 stores located in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.

In order to keep a finger on the pulse of the retail tyre industry, Continental built a company-owned flagship BestDrive store in Port Elizabeth, which is also home to the ContiAcademy – a modern, state of the art facility that provides ongoing skills development and training for the franchise network.

The company has also invested extensively in the future expansion of Sub-Saharan Africa as part of its long-term growth strategy, known as Vision 2025.

“While our headquarters and manufacturing operations remain in South Africa, I believe that Africa holds enormous potential,” Uys says. “Our confidence and belief in the future of Africa led to the establishment of Continental Tire West Africa as a legal entity in Ghana in 2016, which has a dedicated team responsible for the marketing and sales of Continental tyre brands in 22 countries across the region.

“Despite the highly complex nature of these markets, Continental is gaining traction in the market and brand recognition of our products is continuously improving.”

Further driving its reach into Africa, Continental has a distribution network in East Africa, catering for 12 strategic mainland and Indian Ocean island markets.

“Our focus is on meeting the needs of our customers through providing a compelling portfolio of products to cover the budget and premium sectors across the passenger, commercial and specialty tyre segments,” Uys explains. “Combined with retail solutions optimized for specific market requirements, this gives Continental a significant advantage over our competitors. With a vast footprint of networks and partnerships in over 30 countries across Africa, we are ideally placed to unleash the potential of this dynamic and diverse continent.”