- Sales of the German premium brand’s products up in the first quarter of 2019
- Visiting senior executives confirm importance of Egyptian market
Cairo, Egypt, July 21, 2019 - International tyre manufacturer, Continental marked the final day of the 2019 TOTAL African Football Cup of Nations (AFCON), of which it is an official sponsor, by outlining the significance of the Egyptian market to its global plans, and announcing a 7 percent increase in sales in the country over the first three months of the year.
The details were shared during a visit to Cairo by senior executives from Continental, ahead of the 2019 AFCON final. The high-level delegation included Philipp von Hirschheydt, Head of Passenger and Light Truck Replacement Tires in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Jon Ander Garcia, Regional Manager for Middle East & Africa, and Karel Kucera, Managing Director, Continental Middle East.
Alongside Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Egypt is Continental’s biggest market in the MENA region. The premium German brand has ambitious plans for the local market, specifically targeting a 20 percent increase in sales by the end of 2019, with an initial focus on Cairo. Together with local partner TyrePro Egypt, it is working hard to increase awareness of the brand in the country, which was recently emphasised by the announcement of a five-year agreement to become tyre sponsor for the 2019, 2021 and 2023 TOTAL African Football Cup of Nations.
Customers in Egypt have benefited from the arrival of several new products over the past year. Launched in May 2018, Continental’s new Generation 6 tyres are the brand’s most popular range. Developed specifically for the MENA region, the Generation 6 range offers car owners a selection of robust tyres designed to cope with the road conditions found across the region. In the same year, the company also launched the Matador brand in Egypt, and this year has been rolling out the Matador Maxilla AP tyres, which are specifically designed for the MENA van market.
2019 is already proving to be a landmark year for Continental in the MENA region. Earlier this year, the company inaugurated its first regional warehouse facility in Jebel Ali, UAE. The new warehouse will act as a hub connecting plants in Europe, North America and South America with the brand’s distribution partners in the Middle East. Continental also opened its first-ever office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and now works with more than 40 importers in over 16 markets.
Jon Ander Garcia, Regional Manager for Continental Africa & Middle East, said: “We see huge potential in the Egyptian market. While currently it is more of a commodity market, with a focus on smaller tyres, there is significant growth in the larger tyre sector, in particular in demand for Ultra High Performance (UHP) tyres. There is also a growing car parc formed of cars from European manufacturers, an area where Continental is particularly strong. These are key reasons why Egypt is such an important market for us and why we are so pleased to have such a dynamic and experienced partner as TyrePro Egypt.”
Globally, Continental has enjoyed a solid start to 2019, despite the challenging automotive market conditions. Thanks to its technology portfolio, the company has been able to distance itself from the substantial downward trend on the market to record sales of €11.0 billion, on a par with the previous year’s level.
While the brand is primarily known for its premium tyres, Continental’s investment in developing and introducing new automotive technologies is key to its international success. 2019 will mark the arrival of Continental’s new digital tyre monitoring platform, ContiConnect™, which is designed especially for commercial vehicles, and helps fleets to maximise efficiency by sending alerts if tyre pressure deviates from the defined value. This follows the arrival in Egypt earlier last year of ContiPressureCheck™, a first-of-its-kind monitoring system for buses and trucks that continuously monitors tyre pressure and temperature via sensors placed inside the tyre.
With road safety being such a major issue in Egypt, Continental will also be looking at ways to leverage its Vision Zero safety campaign in the country, in line with its long-term goal: Zero Fatalities, Zero Injuries, Zero Accidents. This commitment to a safer driving environment is why Continental is not only developing some of the safest tyres in the world, but is also one of the market leaders in new technologies that make driving safer.