Hanover, Germany – Continental AG’s tire business has launched a series of structural changes which are aimed to bring the German tire maker closer to its customers.
Effective 1 July, Conti has merged the passenger and truck replacement businesses in Europe, Middle East and Africa, to create the new ‘replacement tires EMEA’ business unit.
In addition, the tire division has set up a new speciality tire business unit combining the development, manufacturing and distribution activities of the entire specialty tire portfolio, bicycle and motorcycle and Hoosier racing tires.
To be headed by Philipp von Hirschheydt, the new ‘replacement tires EMEA unit will see the sales of passenger car, van and truck tires managed in an integrated manner, said a 6 July Conti statement.
Instead of product categories, the new organisation is structured primarily according to customer groups, such as major international key accounts, fleet customers, OEM after-sales customers, or customers in emerging markets, said the German supplier.
In addtion, previously separate central functions, including the marketing and e-business departments have been merged under the new structure to achieve greater synergy.
One particular objective, Continental said, is to 'quickly and effectively' establish digital structures to “optimise and personalise” the customer experience.
“The completion of the re-organisation measures marks a milestone for us,” said Philipp von Hirschheydt.
The move, he said, will allow Conti to serve its customers “in an optimal way” and strengthens its market position in the different countries and in the entire region.
“The merger will make us even more efficient and allow us to connect knowhow from previously separate entities and utilise it for the benefit of our customers,” he added.
Under the new structure, Constantin Batsch, former head of the truck tires replacement business in the EMEA region, will be responsible for managing the fleet solutions department as well as overall tire sales in Northern and Eastern Europe.
Ralf Benack, former head of the truck fleet business, will be responsible for the strategic management and orientation of the specialist department for truck, passenger car, and van fleet customers.
Roland Welzbacher will be managing sales in Southern Europe and the OEM after-sales department in the new structure.
Frauke Wieckberg will be responsible for the strategic management of the OEM after-sales department, which focuses on customers from the car dealership and truck trading branches.
Jon-Ander Garcia will continue to manage and develop regional sales in emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa as well as in Turkey and Russia.
As of 1 Sept, Jürgen Marth, currently head of the ContiTrade distribution network, will be responsible for regional sales in Central Europe and the international key account business.
He will gradually take over from Wolfgang Thomale, who has assumed responsibility for the new ‘specialty tires’ business unit on 1 July.
Thomale will also head the ‘commercial specialty tires’ business unit and reports directly to Christian Kötz, executive board member and head of Conti’s tires business area.
“With the new [speciality tires] business unit, we are following the path we embarked on to consistently align all activities in the ‘tires’ business area with the customer,” said Kötz.
The former head of the ‘commercial specialty tires’ business unit, Enno Straten, will assume overall responsibility for the areas strategy, analytics and marketing in the new business unit ‘replacement tires EMEA’.