Conti recruits ex-Bridgestone man to head UK Technical Services
Continental has announced the appointment of Steve Howat to the role of general manager in the tyre manufacturer’s Technical Services division, UK and Ireland. Howat joins from Bridgestone, where he held the position of European Training Manager, delivering extensive technical, business and sales training to the company’s customers and staff across Europe. Having joined Continental on 1 June, he will replace respected industry expert Roger Sanders, who is retiring this year after nearly 30 years’ service with the company.
“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Steve, who joins us with a wealth of technical experience, while at the same time thanking Roger for his tremendous hard work over the years,” says Arthur Gregg, sales and marketing director, Commercial, Continental. “Roger is highly respected throughout the tyre industry for his expert technical knowledge, absolute focus on customer service and congenial nature. He has played a significant role in building our industry-leading technical services department, and we wish him all the very best for his retirement.”
Steve Howat began his career in the tyre industry with Continental second brand, Uniroyal in 1987. He was soon promoted to field service manager for the North and Midlands region, with close involvement in monitoring truck tyre performance. He became technical services manager for Continental in 1995, gaining further experience across multiple areas including technical liaison, legislation, the Conti Breakdown Service, product performance and warranty. Howat then joined Bridgestone in 2004, where he developed and launched a purpose-built education centre at the company’s proving ground in Italy. In addition to delivering technical, business and sales training, he was also responsible for ensuring the compliance of its European sales companies with ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems.
In his new position, Howat will focus on the future development of Continental’s technical service support, as the company evolves its offering to meet new industry challenges.
“I’m thrilled to be rejoining Continental and helping to maintain its well deserved reputation for high quality technical services and training,” comments Howat. “I plan to ensure that the company remains the industry’s first port of call for professional technical support. Continental is a highly innovative company and I’m looking forward to drawing on the experience I’ve gained to reinforce the strength and quality of the services it provides.”