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Continental North America names Schönberg CEO

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Matthias Schönberg, currently managing director of Continental Tire of Mexico, will assume the role of CEO of Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) on Oct. 1, 2006. Dr. Alan Hippe, currently CEO and president of CTNA, will remain president.

Schönberg will report to Hippe, who, as president of CTNA and CFO and an executive board member of Continental AG, will continue to provide strategic direction to CTNA.

Andreas Gerstenberger, vice president of sales and marketing, will be promoted to executive vice president of sales and marketing on the same day.

The moves are part of next phase of the company's growth strategy, which includes an expanded leadership team to support new product offerings and marketing initiatives.

"This is an exciting time for CTNA as we turn the corner and focus on growing our company in North America with additional resources and expanded product lines," says Hippe. "We are moving forward with new ideas and creative products while maintaining a consistent management team and approach.

"Matthias Schönberg has been a key part of our North American management team for the last several years and has a proven track record of success, and Andreas Gerstenberger has been instrumental in the growth of our replacement business in North America. Ultimately, this is about putting together a winning team that will make our strategic plan a reality.

"I believe the unique skills both these men bring to the table will provide us with the tools we need to achieve this goal," says Hippe.

As managing director of Continental Tire of Mexico since 2004, Schönberg helped to restructure marketing and sales activities in Mexico which led to significant improvements in the region. Prior to this position, he served as director of finance and sales and marketing at Continental Mabor -- a Continental AG facility in Portugal -- and as senior auditor at Continental AG headquarters in Germany.

As CEO, Schönberg will oversee and coordinate supply chain, sales and marketing and production initiatives for CTNA.

"This is a pivotal time for our company, and I look forward to working with the CTNA team and our customers as we enter the next phase of our strategy to grow the business in North America," says Schönberg.

The company's new marketing initiatives and product launches are based on a three-year plan to increase product offerings and improve market coverage in the light truck and high performance tire market segments. During this time, CTNA will introduce more than 500 tire products, including new product lines and extensions of current lines for both the Continental and General Tire brands.

"We have an exciting opportunity ahead of us," says Gerstenberger. "I look forward to working with Matthias and our team as we continue to implement the marketing and growth initiatives we have in place to strengthen our presence in North America."

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