“This tire shows we have concepts, and we bring them into production with the best ratings on the technology side as well,” Setzer stated throughout a information convention right here in Frankfurt.
The tire’s debut comes as Continental and different suppliers come below intense strain from automakers and governments to scale back carbon emissions of their merchandise and manufacturing. Many automakers have set aggressive targets to scale back their carbon footprints that hinge largely on whether or not they can get their suppliers to chop again on emissions and use extra sustainable supplies.
“For OEMs to reach their sustainability targets, they need more sustainable tires,” Setzer stated.
By 2030, Continental plans on having its tires made up of greater than 40 % recycled and renewable supplies, up from between 15 and 20 % in the present day, Setzer stated. By 2050, the corporate expects its tires to be made fully of inexperienced supplies.
The transition to greener tires parallels strikes Continental has made in different elements of its international companies to make merchandise extra sustainable.
For instance, the corporate has developed a line of floor supplies for door and instrument panels referred to as Xpreshn that may be produced utilizing renewable supplies. It additionally has created an artificial leather-based made with recycled supplies, with yarns used to provide it constructed from recycled plastic bottles.
The UltraContact NXT tire will first be offered at European dealerships this month. Beyond that, Setzer stated the corporate is open to supplying automakers with the tire to be used on new autos.
“We have not targeted this yet because we wanted to be fast to introduce it,” he stated. “But for sure, it could be an OE tire at some point. There’s nothing against that.”
Unknown but is whether or not sustainability will turn into a significant precedence for shoppers when contemplating tire purchases, he stated.
“Whether the consumer distinguishes between sustainability, between safety, between all the other subjects, that remain to be seen,” Setzer stated. “This is up to the consumer.”
Regardless, the corporate stays all-in on going inexperienced.
Continental ranks No. 9 on the Automotive News record of the highest international suppliers, with worldwide gross sales to automakers of $25.4 billion in 2022.