Continental announced this week it is carrying out a brand shift in the drive system aftermarket. Capitalizing on a familiar worldwide brand, Continental’s North American automotive aftermarket business is now aligning its product line with the company’s global technologies and expertise.
Using the Continental OE Technology Series (OETS) Multi V-Belt as the centerpiece of the initiative, Continental also will promote its expertise on all of its belts, hoses, tensioners and timing kits. Rolf Sudmann, who is responsible for the aftermarket business for drive systems at Continental, explains why that makes sense: “The automotive innovations of today are the future of the aftermarket business tomorrow. Thanks to our corporation-wide synergies, our customers can have confidence in our ability to promptly adapt current OE trends to the special needs of the aftermarket. That means we can offer demand-driven solutions that will prove a hit for distributors and professional repair technicians.”
“The transition is part of our strategy to continuously energize and associate our North American products and services with our global automotive expertise,” added Dave Wenger, marketing manager, Continental aftermarket programs for North America. “Continental has a global reputation as the ultimate in technology, quality and reliable service, and the evolution to a uniform product image worldwide will strengthen our Continental brand even further and create a high level of acceptance along the distribution chain.”
Leading the transition will be the straight ribbed belt from the helicog, staggered profile belt. The belt has been reconstructed to align with Continental’s original equipment belt. “One of the many advantages of the strong Continental brand is the ability to expedite well-defined solutions faster,” explained Wenger. “Being under the umbrella of ‘One Continental’ allows us to share and communicate resources and knowledge among all businesses, increase focus on product development, and expedite innovative products to the automotive aftermarket, faster.”
In addition, Continental aftermarket products will follow a new, consistent packaging design and appearance that will be the same for all regions worldwide.
The company says distributors will benefit from the new design because they can now distribute all aftermarket parts for automotive drive components from Continental under the same brand, which will ensure greater clarity on the shelf.
A new North American advertising campaign is being launched as part of the concurrent initiatives to promote Continental’s expertise, technologies and synergies worldwide.