Conti merges commercial, passenger tyre divisions
On August 1 Continental AG’s Passenger & Light Truck Tires (PLT) and Commercial Vehicle Tires (CVT) divisions will be consolidated into a single unit known simply as the Tires division. This combined division will be headed up by Nikolai Setzer, who has led the PLT division since joining the company’s Executive Board in August 2009. Current CVT division head Dr. Hans-Joachim Nikolin has resigned from Continental on “highly amicable terms” and will leave the company on July 31. Conti’s Supervisory Board gave its consent for Dr. Nikolin's relinquishment of his office by mutual agreement at a meeting on June 7.
Explaining its decision to merge the two divisions, Continental notes that with 2010 sales of around 1.4 billion euros, EBIT of 50 million euros and approximately 7,100 employees, the CVT division is far and away the smallest of its six divisions. Last year the PLT division realised sales of 5.8 billion euros and an EBIT of close to one billion euros. It has over 28,000 employees. Combined, sales in the two tyre divisions worked out to around 7.2 billion euros in 2010. Together they thus constitute the corporation’s largest division.
“The tyre business numbers among Continental’s core competencies,” stated Continental Executive Board chairman Dr. Elmar Degenhart. “The business segments in PLT and CVT are increasingly up against similar challenges of a major calibre. This finds them moving closer together all the time. Our goal is a step-up in profitable growth worldwide, above all in the emerging markets. In forming a single tyre division, we are now consolidating our forces to achieve this end. Above and beyond this, we are creating a more pronounced balance in our business structure at the corporate level.
“With Nikolai Setzer we have an established and experienced executive,” Degenhart continued. “He has known our passenger tyre business for many years now, tackling different assignments and holding various management positions. In the last two years he has successfully and vigilantly overseen the business.
“On behalf of the entire Executive Board, I should like to expressly thank Dr. Nikolin for his long years of successful work in the company,” the Executive Board chairman added. “We deeply regret his departure from our company. Indeed, he discharged all his executive assignments in our company with the utmost competence, commitment, integrity and loyalty. In his person we are losing an impressive management personality who consistently targeted Continental’s overall success even in the most trying times.”
Continental Supervisory Board chairman, Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, said: “I personally and the entire Supervisory Board owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Hans-Joachim Nikolin. A member of the Executive Board for twelve years now, he has with his personality and his actions contributed at all times and in exemplary fashion to the success and best interests of Continental. We wish him all the very best for the future.”