GURGAON, India—Apollo Tyres Ltd. has hired former Goodyear and DaimlerChrysler sales executive Steven Smidlein to be senior vice president for North America.
Smidlein, sales director, commercial original equipment for Goodyear from 2012-15, will be responsible for building the brand and sales in North America for both the Apollo and Vredestein brands.
He will be based in Apollo's Metuchen, N.J., office and report to Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director.
“With North America almost being an uncharted territory for us, Steven's 30-plus years of sales management and retail experience, especially in the automotive sector, will help establish both Apollo and Vredestein brands in this continent,” Kanwar said in a statement.
“We would be relying on his proven ability to grow market share, with a focus on delivery of aggressive sales targets.”
Before being named to his OE post at Goodyear in 2012, Smidlein was sales director/dealer development, retail dealer network at Goodyear for three years. Prior to that, he was with Chrysler from 2002-09 and American Honda Motor Co. from 1985-2002.
Apollo did not quantify its sales expectations for North America. Apollo does not break out North America or the Americas as a distinct geographical segment, instead reporting it among “others” in its financial statements. In fiscal 2014-15, the others segment represented only 3.7 percent of Apollo's $2.1 billion in sales.
In its announcement on Smidlein's hiring, Apollo did not comment on the status of Mathias Heimann, hired in October 2014 as president, Eurpe and the Americas, or Emil Herbak, sales manager at Vredestein North America Inc. since October 2012.