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Continental sees major potential for growth in Egyptian market: managing director
18. August 2016
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Continental Middle East, a German tyre manufacturer—among the top five globally—recently launched the VanContact AP tyre range in Egypt, which was developed to fit local market requirements.

The company, which recently moved its regional headquarters from Hanover to Dubai, is looking to expand in the Middle East, and in Egypt in particular. Continental has locally partnered with TyrePro in order to fully operate in the Egyptian market.

Daily News Egypt recently sat down with José Luis de La Fuente, managing director of Continental Middle East, to talk about the Egypt’s standing in the region and the company’s plans for the future.

What are Continental’s plans for expansion in the Middle East, particularly Egypt?

The Middle East offers significantly promising development opportunities for Continental. The region has witnessed solid growth over the past few years and this is testament to our loyal customer base and dynamic product offering. With regards to the Egyptian market, we see major potential for growth as our brand has a discerning customer base.

The prospective opportunities for us to expand our business in the Middle East are truly significant. This is why we moved our regional headquarters from Hanover to Dubai. The UAE provides us with a central hub to work from in this area of the world. By placing global heads locally, we are now in a stronger position to better understand local requirements, to the benefit of the region’s customers. In addition, we are now able to put our foot on the gas pedal (so to speak) in the Commercial Vehicle and Truck Tyres (CVT) and Passenger and Light Truck Tires (PLT) segments, which are our key focus due to the expanding market for commercial and light vehicle-related products in the region.

Does the company plan to launch new tyres in the near future?

Continental has recently launched the VanContact AP tyre range in Egypt, which is set to provide improved load-carrying capacity and greatly enhanced performance for the full-sized and utility van segment. This new specialist tyre range has been developed in line with the local market requirements, in order to meet the growing demand in the van tyre segment in Egypt.

What makes Continental among the top five tyre manufactures globally, and which companies does Continental see as its main competitors?

We pride ourselves for being a German tyre manufacturer that uses state of the art German engineering, renowned worldwide for its accuracy and sublime output. The heart of our engineering division can be found in Hanover, Germany. Our research facility is home to the enormous and famous test race track, the Contidrom. We have bundles of expertise from over 1,000 hard-working scientists, engineers, and designers in Europe and the US. Every new test at our facility follows one simple purpose: to make driving safer.

Which market sees the highest number of sales? How does Egypt rate in terms of sales in comparison with other competing markets?

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are the three main markets in the Middle East for Continental in terms of tyre consumption.

Is Continental involved in a project to reuse or recycle old tyres?

Continental has its own recycling production facility in Hanover called ‘ContiLifeCycle’. The plant integrates a cutting-edge facility for retreading bus and truck tyres with a proprietary industry-scale rubber recycling unit. Developed by Continental, the technology has been recognised as an environmental innovation by the German ministry of environment.

With this combination of technologies, the plant sets a new benchmark in sustainability.

Due to the current economic climate in Egypt, has Continental had to reduce or stop exporting tyres to the market?

Our sales have remained buoyant thanks to the optimised operations and commitment of our local partner, TyrePro. Egypt will continue to be one of the top markets for Continental in the Middle East especially given that we offer innovative tyre solutions that respond to consumer needs and are catered for the local market.