Continental AG aims to enlarge its foothold in the aftermarket sector by presenting more services to their customers, amid strong competition in the industry.
“We realize that we have to create a problem-free service for our customers’ needs,” said Helmut Ernst, vice president international aftermarket at Continental. “We see the trend in OE (original equipment) and have to follow it now with our aftermarket business.”
Continental said it would present “plenty of new products and highlights” at the Automechanika aftermarket show in September to strengthen its position in the sector. Continental will be represented at the fair with its two product brands ATE and VDO.
The company said that the recent recession has led to a higher importance on brands than previously. “In a crisis, people remain loyal to brands – they feel that brands are something they can trust, even during turbulent times,” Ernst said.
In 2009, Continental’s aftermarket sale grew by a high double-digit percentage, said Ernst, who declined to be more specific.
“Customers’ feelings of insecurity last year meant that held on to their old vehicles and invested in them rather than buying a new vehicle. I am satisfied with our performance.”
Continental’s aftermarket business is part of the commercial vehicles and aftermarket unit, which falls under the company’s interior division. Last year, the interior division’s sales declined 25.5 percent to 4.36 billion euros compared with 2008.