The company with the name Continental-Caoutchouc und Gutta-Percha Compagnie was founded in Hanover in 1871. In 1892 it was the first company in Germany to create pneumatic tyres for bicycles, in 1898 the first to create automobile pneumatic tyres without tread pattern and in 1904, with tread pattern. The main factory was constructed in Vahrenwalder street in Hannover and near there, in the Stöcken district, a new plant was built before the Second World War. Between 1912 and 1914, the administration building on Vahrenwalder Street, designed by the architect Peter Behrens, was created and used as a military warehouse during the First World War. After the war, in the period from 1919 to1920 it was dismantled. The building was bombed in the Second World War and was seriously damaged to be restored soon after. Since the 1980s, this building has housed the Hannover Technology Center. In 1981 the Continental group's global sales reached 1165 million dollars with a market segment of 3.9%. In October 1982, an agreement was reached with the US General Tire consortium, which in 1981 had a world market segment of 2.9% and an annual production of 500,000 tyres in the United States. In 1987 GenCorp sold 100% of its General Tyre subsidiary company to Continental AG. Between 1990 and 1993 the Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli tried to acquire Continental AG, which defended itself from the hostile takeover, thanks to the support of Deutsche Bank and after a long struggle Pirelli gave up the attempt.
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