Speaking before some of Europe’s major industry journalists at the Industry Trade Fair Hannover Messe, Jim Hill, CEO of Fairlawn, OH-based ContiTech NAFTA, said that his organization, using its own solutions, is intent on expansion into new industries. The event’s partner country for 2016 is the United States of America.
In the first year under the Germany-based Continental corporate umbrella, ContiTech NAFTA has been an integral part of ContiTech’s expansion into North America.
“We continue to offer high-tech rubber and plastic products that help our North American industrial partners find solutions for their mobility, safety, energy generation, and energy efficiency challenges,” said Hill. “Our customers benefit from the expertise we’ve gained from many years of local knowledge, our production facilities in the markets, and our local sales and service organizations. What's more, we have now brought new products to market too. This is a win-win situation for us and for our customers, as our goal is to branch out into new industries with our solutions.”
ContiTech operates 25 modern production sites in North America, and supplies solutions to local and international customers in a variety of industries, including mining, construction, machine and plant engineering, energy and the automotive sector. With more than 8,000 employees in NAFTA including more than 4,000 employees the U.S.A., ContiTech produces components and systems such as hoses, vibration control elements, air springs, surface materials, conveyor belts, drive belts and technical materials.
Growth Opportunities in New Industries, Europe
Hill believes that one of the new markets that provides opportunities is the food and beverage industry. “This sector has seen relatively constant growth and is not as strongly affected by market fluctuations as other industries,” said Hill. “We are intent on developing a solid strategy for this market.”
ContiTech NAFTA also has designs on Europe, right in the backyard of its parent company. “We have some products in the U.S. that are new to Europe,” said Hill. “And already we have begun marketing and selling some of them.”
One product that is targeted for the EU is Trackman rubber tracks made in St. Marys, OH. “Continental did not have this product in their offering and we are more than willing to supplement their lineup,” Hill said.
Another product that has potential in Europe is ContiAlert, a cover wear-indicator for conveyor belting. “ContiAlert is the result of our focus on innovation,” said Hill. “We continue to operate our four research and development centers in North America and a full ContiTech R&D network in all relevant markets, and ContiAlert is one of those innovative products.
“The key to our success in the U.S. is this: We must continue to create individual, sophisticated, and tailor-made solutions to generate added value for our customers. We believe that a single, expert source supplies it all – the product, the system, and the service, and we want to lead the way in efficiency, technology, safety, and connectivity,” Hill said.