Tyres of Excellence – Juan Uruburu, Continental
Kasun Illankoon spoke with Juan Uruburu, Head of Sales Middle East, about their Middle East strategy, Conti 360 degree fleet services, and their new ContiPressureCheck System.
Continental was founded in Hanover in 1871 as the stock corporation “Continental-Caoutchouc- und Gutta-Percha Compagnie”. Manufacturing at the main factory in Hanover included soft rubber products, rubberized fabrics, and solid tires for carriages and bicycles.
In 1951 Continental commenced production of steel cord conveyor belts. In 1955, they were the first company to develop air springs for trucks and buses. Series production of belted tires began in 1960. Around 30 years later we brought the first environmentally friendly tires for passenger cars onto the market.
In 1995 the Automotive Systems division was established to intensify the systems business with the automotive industry. We presented the key technology for hybrid drive systems back in 1997.
Today, Continental ranks among the top 5 automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems, and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication.
All this, in a nutshell, shows why Continental continuous to innovate and remain unique in this world. 11 years ago Continental opened its office in Dubai but it was only in 2014 when they first established a legal entity in the region in order to bring their full focus of operations in the region.
“Our mission is to deliver to the market a package of performing products designed in Germany, made in Europe, customized for the Middle East and comprehensive package of services, and digital solutions for lowest overall driving cost. This offering will be delivered to the markets in ME through qualified teams and strong well established local partners, our goal is to be the leader in the market and to be viewed as a solution provider for companies working in the transportation industry,” said Juan Uruburu, Head of Sales Middle East, Continental.
Middle East Strategy
The decision to bring their full focus of operations in the region was an easy one for Continental considering the market potential of the region.
“The Middle East Region region can be viewed as a challenging region, yet we see plenty of opportunities that exceeds any other region in the world. The Middle East and especially the UAE show many positive signs that reflect the huge opportunities and a positive future, with a young and increasing population, The region is also the centre of fast-growing trade flows between, India and China in one side and Africa and Europe from the other side, the rapid urbanisation process and infrastructure projects, all these factors makes the region a very promising for business,” said Juan.
“Our strategy to the Middle East is to introduce top performing products, designed with German technology, made in our plants in Europe, but specifically designed for the Middle East.”
Conti 360 degree fleet services
Continental strategy in providing a 360 degree fleet services is based on one of the three pillars that they follow which includes producing the best product, the right customer service, and providing digital solutions.
Juan on Continental’s 360 degree fleet services said, “We would like to provide our customers not only with a performing product but also with a comprehensive service solution package that lowers the overall driving costs. Conti 360 degree is a service concept established by Continental aiming at covering all the services that our customers might from the day the customer receive the tyre till the tyre is out of service. These services include fitment services, fleet check, and tryes inspection, fleet reporting and breakdown services.”
Conti Press Check System
First-Of-Its-Kind tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system for buses and trucks. It is redefining the tyre market with this new innovative technology, and highlighting Continental’s commitment to providing tyre solutions, and to reduce overall fleet costs and improve road safety by ensuring the proper usage and maintenance of tyres.
“There is nothing closer to the road than a tyre and in many cases this fact is underestimated; Today within Digitalisation, many transport companies use sophisticated Fleet Management Systems (Telematics) which is able to monitor the fatigue of the driver by installing cameras in the cabin,” remarked Juan.
“The ContiPressureCheckTM system is designed to take the daily hassle of monitoring truck and bus tyre pressure and temperature away from drivers, so that they can focus on safe driving. The regional roll-out of the system comes in line with recent regulations issued by the GCC authorities to achieve maximum safety, preserve the lives of road users and reduce injuries from vehicle accidents, especially trucks.
The new ContiPressureCheck system continuously measures the pressure and temperature of all tyres on vehicles – even when driving. This helps to save fuel and increase mileage. It also significantly reduces the risk of tyre failure, whilst maintaining the value of the casing, and thus the re-treadability,” Juan further elaborated.
Continental through its R&D department invested lots of time exploring the Middle East market by defining its key specifications, roads, weather conditions, loads, and driving behaviour
“As such we are able to introduce a new special product range of commercial and passenger vehicle tyres perfectly matching the Middle East conditions and from commercial vehicle tyres side we have different product categories matching main requirements in the market goods transportation, people, construction, off-road, and material handling,” concluded Juan.