MARTIN Buday has officially taken over the reins as Managing Director at Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA), bringing almost two decades of experience in the tyre industry, and the last 14 years with Continental in various roles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Buday stepped into the position in 2020, replacing Shaun Uys who took up a new assignment with Continental Tire in the United States. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions on international travel, Buday was forced to work remotely from the Czech Republic, where he previously served as General Market Manager and MD for the Czech and Slovak markets.
Now on South African soil, Buday said he is ready to lead the South African operation, which includes Continental’s only tyre manufacturing facility on the African continent, producing tyres for domestic sales – supplying the original equipment and replacement sectors – along with exports to the Americas, the Asia Pacific region, as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
As the only tyre company that supplies seven of the major vehicle manufacturers in South Africa, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)-based Continental Tyre SA plays an important role in the local automotive industry.
“Last year was very difficult for all of us, but I am looking forward to this exciting new opportunity to be a part of the Continental team in South Africa. For 2021, one of the key objectives for the management team is for CTSA to get onto a growth path again and improve our financial results,” Buday said.
“We need to reignite our winning mindset, motivation, energy and focus on achieving our short- and medium-term goals, and at the same time show a high level of flexibility and agility to be able to adapt to the changing market environment. The implementation of Continental’s Vision 2030 strategic program for the tyre business will ensure that we have a solid foundation on which to build,” he added.
Buday has spent his entire working career in the tyre industry. His association with Continental started in 2007 when the tyre manufacturing giant took over Matador, one of the last independent tyre producers in Europe. Buday had been employed by Matador since his graduation in 2002, having held several positions in marketing and sales over the years.
Buday’s decision to join the South African entity was made in February 2020, mere weeks before the pandemic effectively brought the world to a standstill.
“I’m very happy to finally be in South Africa, and I want to use this opportunity to thank to my colleagues from the executive management team for steering the organisation,” he said.