FRANKFURT -- German tire and car parts maker Continental AG said on Thursday that the head of its passenger car tire business would leave the company over differences regarding strategy.
Continental Chief Executive Manfred Wennemer will assume responsibility for the division from Martien de Louw effective immediately, it said in a statement.
Finance chief Alan Hippe will be also placed in charge of the company's loss-making passenger car tire business in North America.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment any further on the reasons for the split.
Hippe told Reuters last week that recent cuts in automobile production in the United States meant that it had become "definitely harder" to reach Continental's breakeven target in the fourth quarter for its NAFTA passenger car tire business.
In the first quarter, passenger car tires reported a 3.3 percent rise in revenue when adjusted for consolidation and currency effects, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 7.4 percent to 91.1 million euros. Its margin widened by 0.1 percentage point to 9.3 percent.
While the division's sales rose faster than the comparable 2.6 percent gain in group turnover, its EBIT growth lagged the 9.5 percent recorded for Continental overall.
The announcement came following a supervisory board meeting. Earlier the world's fourth-largest tiremaker held its annual general meeting in Hanover.