KAANAPALA BEACH, Maui (Jan. 11, 2002)—On his first official day on the job, Continental Tire North America's president perhaps stated the obvious when he told dealers at the company's “Sellebration in Paradise” dealer conference in Maui that the tire maker has “been a permanent loss maker for the past three years.”
“This is not acceptable,” continued Ulrich Wellen, who became CTNA's president with the announcement Jan. 9 that his predecessor, Bernd Frangenberg, will be retiring in several months. “A turnaround strategy is needed ” Mr. Wellen said, and the Charlotte, N.C.-based company indeed has begun implementing steps to see that happen.
CTNA's vision is to be its dealers' “leading tire supplier,” he added. By accomplishing that, Conti will in turn make its customers successful as well as create value for all stakeholders “by capitalizing on our global tire technology leadership position.”
The main part of the company's turnaround, he said, will focus on brands and positioning, image and awareness, an expanded, revitalized product portfolio, streamlined operations, and the people to make those changes possible.
“Our mission is profitable growth,” he told dealers on the second day of the six-day conference.
Meanwhile, Mike Barker, CTNA's vice president of sales and marketing, passenger and light truck replacement group, promised dealers that their many complaints over the past year had been heard and acted upon. He vowed that the tire maker will improve its business forecasting, fill rates and dealer promotions in order to create a better partnership with its dealer customers.