Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. credits two tire dealerships with playing a key role in the company’s commercial business success in 2019. Data from the first nine months of last year shows Goodyear grew its fleet business by 5% in a down market, said Dave Beasley, vice president of Goodyear’s commercial business in North America. He said Goodyear grew its market share in both the replacement and original equipment markets.
One piece of that growth was signing Commercial Tire Service in Chicago as a Goodyear dealer. With seven locations serving the Chicago market, Beasley said adding the competitive tire dealer and retreader into “the Goodyear family…expands our network in this high-growth market.”
Add to that the December acquisition of Raben Tire, with operations in five Midwestern states. Beasley called it “an opportunistic move that allows us to acquire good value from a motivated seller.”
The benefit for Goodyear is the ability to expand service to fleets and extend its distribution footprint. Twenty members of the Raben Tire team attended the annual Goodyear dealer conference, held Feb. 2-4 near Denver.
Beasley said Goodyear’s goal has been to increase tire volume and extend its network. Commercial Tire Service and Raben Tire will help the company accomplish that into the future.
So will the introduction of more products for fleets.
“Fleets are looking for solutions to reduce downtime and improve their cost, and Goodyear is built to lead them through this challenge,” he said.
A large portion of the trade show floor was dedicated to Goodyear’s commercial products and services, including its four tire management solutions. Beasley said the company is adding options to Tire Optix, which launched in 2018 and inspected more than two million tires in 2019. Goodyear sees an opportunity for Tire Optix to expand beyond commercial applications.
“We believe there is potential for it to be used beyond commercial fleets,” Beasley said.
For larger fleets the company is adding Goodyear CheckPoint, a drive-over reader system to be installed in a truck yard. It checks tire inflation, tread depth and load and sends the information to fleet managers.
Goodyear TireReady is a subscription-based service that helps a fleet manage the entire life cycle of a tire, from initial installation through maintenance, retreading and replacement. Fleets pay a “simple monthly fee per vehicle.”
Another new product is Goodyear TPMS Plus, which utilizes sensors in the tires to monitor tire conditions in real time, and then when problems arise, the driver is directed to the nearest service center, or roadside assistance is dispatched when needed.
The company didn’t unveil any new truck tires for 2020, but Cary Budzinksi, senior director of commercial sales in North America, said the Fuel Max RTD, launched a year ago, will be available to dealers in the replacement market in the second quarter of this year.
And when the premium drive tire is available in the replacement market, it will be available in six sizes. The tire launched last year with two OE sizes, and four more sizes are being added.
Budzinksi noted that regional fleets are growing, and the regional and urban segments are “catching up fast” to long haul. But, “in North America, long haul is still king.
“Competition is fierce in today’s trucking industry, especially in long haul fleets. That’s why more customers and fleets are catching on to Goodyear’s Endurance LHS.”
One fleet drove an Endurance LHS tire 237,000 miles — “that’s enough miles to drive to the moon, or circle the Earth nine times,” Budzinksi said.
“Steer tires have long been a struggle for long haul fleets, but we know if you can win the steer tire position, the drive and trailer tire business is not far behind.
“The success of this tire is helping Goodyear win more business with fleets, creating more opportunities for you.”