Continental AG, commonly known as Continental, is a German automotive manufacturing company specializing in, brake systems, interior electronics, automotive safety, powertrain and chassis components, tachographs, tires and other parts for the automotive and transportation industries. Continental is based in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. Continental is the world's fourth-largest tire manufacturer.
Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber manufacturer, Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie. In 1898, Continental started development and production of the vehicle tires with plain tread, which was the major success of the brand. In 1904, Continental became the first company in the world to manufacture grooved vehicle tires. Another major product Continental invented was detachable wheel tire that was made for touring vehicles (1905). In the late 1920s, Continental merged with several other major rubber industry companies to form the largest rubber company in Germany “Continental Gummi-Werke AG”. After acquiring Siemens AG's VDO automotive unit in 2007 Continental was ranked third in global OEM automotive parts sales in 2012 according to a study sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.