November 28, 2012 / 8:41 AM / 5 years ago

Continental to boost overseas tyre business -paper

BERLIN, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Continental will spend 1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) through 2015 to expand its tyre business in emerging markets and the United States to narrow the gap to rivals, Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing the head of the tyre division.

Continental is building new tyre plants and upgrading its facilities as part of a long-term expansion plan for major emerging economies (BRIC) and the United States to catch up with competitors Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear by 2025, the newspaper cited executive board member Nikolai Setzer as saying.

Hanover-based Continental, where tyre operations accounted for about a third of nine-month group sales of 24.6 billion euros, has a goal of increasing overall sales more than 7 percent in 2012 to over 32.5 billion euros.

Continental, which also produces auto parts, said in October it will scale back some production as Europe’s debt crisis saps demand for diesel engines for smaller vehicles.

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