HANOVER, Germany (Aug. 27, 2001) — Continental A.G. said on Aug. 24 that it will become Ford Motor Co.'s largest tire supplier in 2002.
Automotive News, a sister publication of Tire Business, reported that Conti CEO Stephan Kessel told Reuters the company expects a major tire order for new vehicles from Ford next year, vaulting the company into Ford's top tire spot. Volume and revenue figures were not available.
The German tire maker, parent of Charlotte, N.C.-based Continental Tire North America Inc., sells the General and Continental tire brands in the U.S., and the Barum, Semperit, Uniroyal and Viking brands in other countries.
Conti is stepping in to fill the void created when, on May 21, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. severed its 95-year supplier relationship with Ford, announcing it was dropping Ford as an original equipment customer in the Americas. A day later, Ford President and CEO Jacques Nasser announced that his company would spend $2.1 billion after taxes to replace 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires on Ford Explorers and other Ford vehicles.