In the world of Continental and its $42 billion in 2022 sales, the ContiTech business may seem small. But in the non-tire sector, its more than $7 billion in revenues last year and 40,000 employees loom large, trailing only Freudenberg Group in the most recent ranking of Rubber News' World Top 50 Non-Tire Rubber Products Manufacturers.
Because of this size, Gerstenberger said it will take some time over the coming months to make sure the ContiTech restructuring is done right—all while continuing to service customers properly in the meantime.
The first step was to formulate the vision and strategy, which was completed after more than a year of work. Next is to make sure the structure and processes are set up properly to meet those objectives.
For ContiTech, that brings a higher level of customer focus, or being "in the region for the region."
"For us, in the Americas, that means that we, in the future, have more independence and more centricity to our North and South American customers. We will serve those two channels through distribution and engineered solutions," Gerstenberger said. "And we will have faster decision-making processes, knowing that we are, basically, relatively self-sufficient."
Industrial Solutions Americas Group will facilitate that with two customer-focused support segments. One will focus on distribution, headed by Guy Enta as the vice president of segment's Distribution Solutions Business (DSB). The other is the Customer Engineered Solutions (CES), which will cater to customers like John Deere, where ContiTech has direct business to OEMs. Gerstenberger will manage this channel until a leader is named for the post.
ContiTech set up the industrial business on a regional basis, Hill said, largely to align as its customers are organized. "Our distributors and our industrial OEs are much more regionally based (as opposed to automotive), so we are organizing regionally to be closer to them," he said.
Enta, previously VP in charge of the Americas region for the former Industrial Fluid Solutions business, said the Distribution Solutions Business will have four sub-regions with the business: the U.S.; Canada; Mexico and Central America; and South America.