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Continental's Schönberg gets global promotion

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Matthias Schönberg is leaving Continental Tire the Americas LLC (CTA). The CEO since 2006, Schönberg will return to Frankfurt, Germany, to lead ContiTech AG’s Fluid Technology business unit.

A successor will be named in the near future, according to CTA.

(Continental AG is the parent company of both Continental Tire and ContiTech.)

“Matthias Schönberg provided outstanding leadership to Continental Tire the Americas,” says Nikolai Setzer, executive board member and head of the Passenger and Light Truck Tires (PLT) business unit for Continental, AG. “Through a focus on building the brand throughout the markets in North and South America, Matthias has guided CTA to a strong and successful business model in manufacturing, product and sales.

“Now that he has accomplished so much for our regional business, it is time for Matthias to take on the challenge of running a global business, in a new industry altogether.”

Under Schönberg’s leadership, both the PLT and Commercial Vehicle Tire (CVT) divisions experienced unprecedented volume growth; significant new-product launches; and increases in market share -- especially in the United States and Brazil.

Schönberg also led the decision to move the CTA headquarters to a new building in Lancaster County, S.C., in 2009. The move coincided with the decision to change the name of the region from Continental Tire North America to Continental Tire the Americas, which Schönberg felt was a more apt description recognizing the significant growth in key South American markets.

The growth in South America was highlighted by acquisition of the leading tire manufacturer in Ecuador, Compañia Ecuatoriana del Caucho S.A. (ERCO), which provided Continental with a strong distribution network in Ecuador and the Andean Region.

“My years based in the Charlotte area have been very rewarding, not only from a business perspective, but also on a personal level,” says Schönberg. “My family and I thoroughly enjoyed calling Charlotte our home and we will miss it greatly.

“I will especially miss the outstanding team members of CTA who have worked so hard to improve our business performance and to provide our customers with great products and services.”

With 23 companies at 29 locations throughout the world, the Fluid Technology business unit is ContiTech’s largest, with 13,000 employees and sales of 1.12 billion euros (close to $1.5 billion) in 2010. It develops and manufactures straight and shaped hoses, hose assemblies and tubing.

Schönberg joined Continental AG in 1998 as a senior auditor. Prior to his CTA appointment, he was managing director of Continental Tire de Mexico.

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