In 2009, Continental was putting the key elements in place for a huge new idea. As the market for new truck tires was dropping significantly, and fleet managers throughout the Americas were desperately looking for ways to keep operating despite less freight and higher fuel prices, Continental’s vice president of commercial vehicle tires in the Americas, Paul Williams, was thinking bigger.
With no apologies, Williams was looking to out-maneuver other major tire manufacturers and do something they had never tried before. To take the leap and start a retread business across two continents was something people in the tire industry were calling crazy when they caught wind of it. Looking toward the company’s future, and with only a year at the helm of the business, Williams did it anyway.
Today, Continental has a solid retreading footprint in North and Central America, and has already made moves to control its supply chain and expand into South America. Looking back, how they did it seems a remarkably simple process that started with a decision.