FAIRLAWN, Ohio—More than a name, logo, signs and brand names have changed at the former Veyance Technologies Inc. central complex and technical center in Fairlawn.
When ContiTech A.G. officially turned it into its central North American headquarters at a ceremony July 29, a feeling of stability hung in the air, a big change from the uncertainty that seemed to prevail at the facility during the last five years.
Gone are the any references to Veyance and Goodyear Engineered Products brands. ContiTech has replaced Veyance; ContiTech, along with parent Continental A.G., are foremost on all signs; and the products, while still the same, now sport shortened versions of their old brand names or new Continental and ContiTech names. For instance, the automotive belts brand has been renamed Continental Elite.
As Jim Hill, ContiTech's recently named CEO of its NAFTA operations, addressed a gathering of employees before unveiling a new headquarters sign and logo in front of the two-building campus, it was apparent that he and the estimated work force of 180 at the site once again were part of a firm dedicated to manufacturing.
He admitted in an interview after the address that when ContiTech purchased Veyance from private equity firm Carlyle Group in January, there was some apprehension, as there usually is with any acquisition. That quickly was replaced by the realization that this was an opportunity for the firm to grow.
“We've gone through a lot of ups and downs, good times and tough times,” according to Hill, a 27-year veteran of Veyance and Goodyear Engineered Products. Becoming part of Continental and ContiTech creates some stability for employees, he said.
“The fact that it's a large international rubber company that does a lot of other things gives people the feeling the company has a good future long term, it's going to have a good strategic direction, and they can be part of that. I think it's a positive thing, and they look very favorably upon it.”