ContiTech unveiled its new-look North American headquarters yesterday, with ContiTech NAFTA CEO Jim Hill pledging that the new organization would focus on its customers by bringing a wider range of new products to them.
“We will continue to provide the same top-quality products and services to our existing customers and now, as a member of the Continental family, we will be able to provide world class options in all the product lines and the industries we serve,” Hill said. “We’re basically the same organization as before – but just bigger and better.”
Continental AG acquired Veyance Technologies (formerly Goodyear Engineered Products) in January 2015.
“Our new organization will enable us to strategically position ourselves to provide dynamic growth for all of the markets in which we compete in the NAFTA region,” said Hill. “We will continue to grow our customer network, and provide the seamless distribution of our products with our focus on the NAFTA region.”
Hill made note of the historic aspects of the now melded company. Before there was even much of a tire industry to speak of, Goodyear started as an engineered products company in 1898. It was the same story with Continental AG, which began life 26 years earlier producing various rubber products. Now the two names are part of the landscape for the unified ContiTech.
The obvious change is the brand name, Hill said during a press conference after the unveiling ceremony. All of the combined company’s products will now go to market under the Continental Elite brand name, replacing the familiar Goodyear and Gatorback brand names of old.
ContiTech will begin to launch a series of advertising campaigns on the new brand names and supplement them with press releases and special communications efforts to its customer and distributor base.
The headquarters facility in the Akron suburb of Fairlawn brings together both the group’s NAFTA region operations and its research and development arm, and melds the ContiTech’s operations with those of Veyance Technologies, which Continental AG acquired at the beginning of 2015. Hill said that operations integration work continues and should be done “within a year.”
The melding of cultures, he noted, will take longer, but he is quite confident that a stronger blended team will emerge at the end. “ContiTech draws from the best of both companies for our future,” Hill said.
Continental AG’s ContiTech division is a leading supplier of technical elastomer and plastic products for a range of industries, most notably for the automotive market, both OE and replacement. Its heritage, said Hill, came from Continental’s vast OE background and Veyance Technlogies’ aftermarket background. Today it is a company with annual sales of around $6 billion.
Globally, ContiTech employs some 41,000 people; the Fairlawn headquarters and R&D center host around 180 people.