Andreas Niegsch: “Our brands are our greatest asset”
It has been an eventful – some might say traumatic – year or two for the Goodyear Corporation as it struggled to integrate Dunlop within its organisation across Europe and the USA. One of the countries that has seen a great deal of change is the UK, where a number of different methods of restructuring have been tried, with varying levels of success. Recent changes affected the management at the highest level – Goodyear and Dunlop had their own MD’s, reporting to Marco Molinari, who was in overall control. When Molinari left the company, it was decided to change the management structure and responsibilities. Out went the two separate MD posts and a General Manager was brought in.
That person was Andreas Niegsch, a 39-year-old German who only joined Dunlop in 1998. One year on, the structure is in place and beginning to produce results and Andreas Niegsch found the time to give his first press interview, with T&A. Where Andreas Niegsch’s position differs from that of his predecessors is that he is responsible purely for the sales organisation at Goodyear Dunlop and the UK factories report to Goodyear Dunlop Europe. By not being responsible for manufacturing, Andreas Niegsch is free to concentrate on sales and in getting closer to the market and the customer.
The new structure has separate sales divisions for consumer, commercial, farm, earthmover, motorcycle and motorsports tyres and these are supported by functions such as HR, logistics and finance. Retail is treated as a separate profit centre and a new marketing department has been created to support all the product groups. Given enough time, things will turn around, said Andreas Niegsch, as the company has the funds and has bought itself the time to implement the necessary changes. However, whatever else changes, he believes that Goodyear Dunlop still has those two priceless assets; two brands that are worth their weight in gold.