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      Dr. Dirk Leiß
      Press Release
      June 11, 2018

      Company Anniversary: the Surface Specialist of the Continental Corporation Celebrates Its 300-Year Existence

      • One of the oldest industrial companies of its kind in Germany
      • Developed from a family company to a global large company
      • Anniversary celebration with four days of reverie at the factory grounds in Hanover

      Hanover, June 7, 2018. This year, the technology company Continental celebrates 300 years of surface competence at the Hanover site. The origin of the surface specialist of the Continental group go back to the year 1718. The founding of the former Wachstuchmacherey vor dem Steinthore created one of the oldest industrial companies of its kind in Germany. But what exactly does the surface specialist with its headquarters in Hanover do?

      The success story began when the founder, Johann Friedrich Appel, developed the first idea for innovative surfaces and produced oilcloth based on linseed oil in his factory for wallcoverings, floors, clothing, and packaging purposes, as well as for the interiors of carriages.

      Today, 300 years later, the surface specialist is an important part of the Continental group. With around 5,800 employees, the business unit is an important employer at 15 production sites worldwide.

      From furnishing horse-drawn carriages to surfaces in autonomous vehicles, from the oilcloth tablecloth to the modern hotel lobby: The Continental surfaces have now solidly established themselves in many areas of everyday life. The world-renowned brands Acella and skai, for example, have been synonymous with high-quality plastic films and fine artificial leather for decades and are especially ubiquitous in automobile interiors. But the latest developments also demonstrate many years of expertise. For example, a formable, light-permeable film material makes new operating concepts possible in the automobile of the future and the dashboard becomes a giant touchpad. “Morphing Controls make it possible to supplement the look and feel of our surfaces with functional aspects,” explains Dr. Dirk Leiß, who is responsible for the Surfaces business unit at Continental. “This is a decisive development in our area, where we are the leading surface specialist.”

      Between tradition and innovation: from the carriage to the autonomous vehicle

      Continental is a trendsetter in the branch: With the global know-how from research, design, and application technology, the company is more than just a pioneer for innovative ideas in the automobile industry. For years, it has been shaping the furniture, construction, and commercial vehicle industries, as well as the do-it-yourself branch, with environmentally friendly surface materials.

      Anniversary event: star-quality guests and four days of events

      A moving company history: From a family company to worldwide surface producer in 300 years – a reason to celebrate. From June 6-9, the factory grounds at the Beneckeallee in Hanover will be transformed into an event location for four days, which tells the story of the 300-year surface competence of the company. From politicians such as the Secretary of Commerce of Lower Saxony, Dr. Bernd Althusmann, and the Senior Mayor of the City of Hanover, Stefan Schostok, to local students in selected areas of study, to neighbors and employees from all sites worldwide, everyone is invited. “There’s never been anything like this,” says Dr. Dirk Leiß. “I am happy that we will be able, with this event, to make everyone conscious of what has made us so successful for 300 years.” Whether on the family day, the gala evening, during the customer conference, or on public day – the event has a lot to offer. Visitors are invited to experience the fascination of the products in the facility, to submerge themselves into the world of materials, and to take a trip through time – from the first idea for a surface to innovations for the future.

      “IDEAS BEYOND SURFACES” is the motto for our 300-year anniversary. Please find here the chronical.

      Available documents

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