In the wake of what it called the ``disappointing collapse'' of General Tire's passenger tire business, Germany's Continental A.G., in October, said it had no plans to sell its North American subsidiary-despite speculation to the contrary in the European press. However, reassurances by General Tire's Hannover-based parent couldn't alleviate the turmoil that dogged the Akron-based tire maker throughout the year.
Early in 1993, for example, General Tire saw its special 15-year supply agreement with Big O Tires Inc. severed and its former stock holdings in Big O repurchased by the Englewood, Colo.-based franchiser.
Later, the company decentralized its field sales organization, appointing regional managers to direct sales operations for each of its two product divisions-passenger/light truck and commercial (truck) tires.
Meanwhile, General Tire announced-and then later withdrew-plans for a $12 million research and development center in Charlotte, N.C.
That announcement in August was punctuated by the resignations of two key executives-Edward ``Bud'' Kissel, executive vice president of the passenger and light truck tire division, and Alexander MacLean, the division's senior vice president for sales and marketing. Both men said they departed over ``policy differences.''
Not long thereafter, the company announced plans to withdraw from the competitive front farm tractor tire market.
And then in December, General Tire called for the resignations of three additional vice presidents: John D. Kelley Jr., vice president of corporate quality and international technology; Horst K. Mehlfeldt, senior vice president and chief financial officer; and John Henry Davis, vice president and general council.
Bernd Frangenberg, vice president of Conti's original equipment accounts and head of the company's Uniroyal-Englebert division, was named to head General's passenger/light truck tire division, replacing Mr. Kissel. Mr. MacLean has been replaced by Joseph J. McCarthy, formerly vice president, original equipment.
General Tire was forecast to end 1993 about $22 million in the red, on sales of $1.4 billion.