Continental Tire: Break even will be reached in 2005
So far the acquisition of General Tire in 1987 has not been a success story. During this year the loss will amount to 100 million Euro at least. This has to be changed, according to Conti’s chairman Manfred Wennemer and Martin de Louw who is responsible for Continental’s passenger tyre division and works in the North American headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The two set out the goal: during the last quarter of 2005 the break-even point has to be reached. Wennemer puts his hope in de Louw as a new member of the board. De Louw in his strategy focuses on new products, the extension of low cost production sites such as Mexico, and the persuasion of a multi-brand strategy that in turn is borne by the brands Continental and General Tire.
For the replacement market Continental hopes for good business with the car dealers because the tyres with the prancing horse have been widely sold on the OE market during the last couple of years – there will be a pull-through effect. Wennemer states clearly that Continental will continue its business with truck tyres in North America because this division has always been very profitable. .