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Market growth in the UHP segment continues: The new Uniroyal RainSport 3 is now available

(PresseBox) (Hannover, ) The trend toward ever bigger tyres with higher speed approvals is continuing unabated in Europe. Specialists expect the market for summer tyres suitable for speeds of more than 210 km/h to grow considerably up to 2017. The main beneficiaries of this will be tyres of 18 inches and more, although demand for 16 inch tyres is also expected to increase.

Demand for larger tyre formats with higher speed approvals is growing in the replacement business too. Uniroyal is expecting demand to increase in particular for tyres approved for speeds in excess of 210 km/h. This means that growth of around 4% in the market for tyres in speed classes V, W, Y, and Z (approved for between 240 km/h and 300 km/h) is expected throughout Europe between 2008 and 2017. In the opinion of the experts, the segment comprising tyres approved for speeds of 210 km/h (speed index "H") will remain stable, while demand for tyres with lower speed approvals (speed indices "R", "S", and "T") is likely to fall.

However, it is not just in terms of speed classes that newer vehicles are looking for that little bit extra. Demand for larger tyre sizes is also increasing among vehicle manufacturers and end users. While the larger rims are necessary from a technical point of view in order to accommodate the brakes designed for higher speeds, drivers in Europe want to give their cars a sportier look by fitting rims that are larger than standard to make them stand out from the crowd. As a result, rims with diameters in excess of 16 inches are becoming increasingly popular, with sales having increased by 4.5% over the last five years. But it is the rims in the 17, 18, 19 inch (and more) class that are seeing the biggest growth. Since 2008, rims with diameters of 19 inches and more have increased in popularity among users by almost 60%. This should put the new Uniroyal RainSport 3 in a strong position to achieve success. It comes in sizes up to 21 inches and is approved for speeds of up to 300 km/h, which makes it in line with current market trends.

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Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH

The Belgian manufacturer of rubber goods, Englebert, had been producing tyres (including for Continental AG) since 1895. Following the merger with US Rubber in 1958, the company came to be known as Uniroyal Englebert. Uniroyal, the inventor of the wet tire, has been a European brand of Continental AG, Hanover, since 1979.

With sales of €32.7 billion in 2012, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems, and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tyres, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 173,000 employees in 46 countries. www.continental-corporation.com

The Tire division includes the Passenger and Light Truck Tyres, the Commercial Vehicle Tyres, and the Industrial Tyres business units, as well as the Two-Wheel Tire activities. As one of the world's leading tire manufacturers with more than 41,000 employees, the division achieved cumulative sales of more than €8.8 billion in 2011. The Tire division currently has 22 production and development locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments in R&D make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility.

Continental is one of the leading manufacturers of passenger and light truck tyres in Europe and the world's fourth largest passenger car tire manufacturer in the original equipment and replacement market. The product development focus of the Continental premium brand is to optimize all safety-relevant characteristics, while simultaneously minimizing rolling resistance. www.continental-reifen.de

The Commercial Vehicle Tire business unit had sales of more than €1.8 billion in 2011, making it one of the largest manufacturers of truck, bus, and industrial tyres worldwide. www.continental-truck-tyres.com

Continental's Tire division is an official sponsor of the German DFB Cup, the UEFA EURO 2012TM in Poland and the Ukraine, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. www.ContiSoccerWorld.com