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Continental’s new largest division: Tires

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Continental AG knows tires are big business. That’s why the new Tires division will become the Hanover, Germany-based global auto component manufacturer’s biggest division.

Effective August 1, 2011, the Passenger & Light Truck Tires (PLT) and Commercial Vehicle Tires (CVT) divisions will be consolidated into one division -- Tires. To head it up, PLT division chief and Executive Board member Nikolai Setzer, will take over the combined division. The present head of the CVT division, Dr. Hans-Joachim Nikolin, will leave the company July 31, 2011.

“Tires are just one of the components that we supply to the automotive manufacturers,” Bill Caldwell, Continental Tire the Americas LLC (CTA) vice president of sales and marketing, said at the company’s recent Gold Dealers meeting in Jamaica. “So whether it’s tires, whether it’s antilock brake systems, whether it’s cruise control sensors – whatever it is. Our vision is always to contribute to the vehicle in a higher way, to always support these main targets.”

Now that tires will be the biggest of these main targets, the new Tires division will boast a combined PLT/CVT workforce of 35,100 employees. Combined revenue in 2010 was 7.2 billion Euros. Before the merger, the CVT division was the company’s smallest, with 2010 sales of 1.4 billion Euros and 7,100 workers.

"The tire business numbers among Continental's core competencies,” said Dr. Elmar Degenhart, Continental Executive Board chairman. “Our goal is a step-up in profitable growth worldwide, above all in the emerging markets. In forming a single tire 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."

The Passenger & Light Truck Tires division has production facilities at 27 locations in 16 countries. The division is organized into five business units: Original Equipment, Replacement EMEA, Replacement The Americas, Replacement Asia Pacific and Two-Wheel Tires. Commercial vehicle tires are manufactured at 15 locations in 10 countries. The Commercial Vehicle Tires division is comprised of four business units: Replacement EMEA Truck Tires, Replacement The Americas Truck Tires, Replacement Asia Pacific Truck Tires and Industrial Tires.

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