Hanover (June 8, 2006) – The final round draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ was held in the World Cup city of Leipzig in December 2005, dividing the 32 qualifying teams into eight groups. The opening game between Germany and Costa Rica will be played in Munich’s FIFA World Cup™ stadium on June 9th, with the final game taking place in Berlin’s Olympic stadium exactly one month later. In all, the teams will play in 12 cities across Germany, incurring considerable travelling time for the players. Since the teams’ preferred mode of transport between match locations is coach, Continental Truck Tires has taken the opportunity to combine its passion for sport with its enthusiasm for innovation, and develop a tire with specially-designed sidewalls to mark the event.
Based technically on the HSL1 steer-axle tire, the 295/80 R22.5 HSL1 coach tire sports stylized soccer emblems and distinctive yellow Continental logos moulded into the sidewalls. But the benefits of the 295/80 R 22.5 HSL1 coach tire go much further than that. Specially-developed groove geometry ensures exceptionally low tire noise, while its wide footprint generates a particularly uniform contact pattern. The importance of tires is often underestimated, but they are the only connection between vehicle and road; these features will help to ensure that the world’s best soccer players travel in comfort and arrive safely at the different match venues. For the coach operator, there is an additional advantage – the HSL1 tire exhibits very low rolling resistance, which translates to outstanding fuel economy.
“We received very positive feedback from the drivers of the eight team coaches that were fitted with our special edition HSL1 tire for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup Germany,” explained Irmgard Matzke, responsible for global marketing communications in the commercial vehicle tire division at Continental. “As a result, all 32 of the Setra S 415 GT-HD and Mercedes Travego 2 team coaches for 2006 FIFA World Cup™ will be equipped with Continental HSL1 or HSR1 tires.”
“As true fans of both road transport and soccer, all of us at Continental are very excited about our involvement in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™,” commented Ralf Hoffmann, brand manager for the passenger car and light truck tire segment at Continental in Hanover. “Continental is one of just three German Official Partners of the event – and of these it is the sole representative of the automotive industry. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to present our company and products to a global audience, while at the same time demonstrating our passion and enthusiasm for sport.”
Continental offers comprehensive information about the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ at www.contisoccerworld.com, including detailed portraits of all 32 teams and their stars, exclusive interviews and reports, plus further news of Continental Corporation’s soccer-related activities.
With annual sales of more than $36.6 billion (based on 2006 figures), the Continental Corporation is one of the top five automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today, the corporation employs approximately 150,000 people at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries.