In 2019 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. counted more than 18 million visits to its website. “That’s more website traffic than the next four (tire) manufacturers combined.” Mike Dwyer, Goodyear’s chief customer officer, delivered the report during the company’s 2020 dealer conference. Five years earlier the tiremaker used that same annual meeting to unveil the industry’s first direct-to-consumer website for tire sales. It was the beginning of a new wave of online tire sales.
Dwyer told the 1,500 tire dealers outside Denver that more than 85% of consumers use the internet to assist them in buying tires. “We need to target them in the space,” he said. “The good news is there is no tire manufacturer better equipped to drive consumers from the online world into your stores, as Goodyear far and away leads the industry in generating website traffic.”
As for those consumers, Dwyer said they deliver good results to the installing tire dealers.
“They’re not just buying Goodyear tires. More than 80% of these consumers buy additional products or services when offered. (It’s) a win-win for our dealers as they capture new consumers and incremental business.”
Scott Rogers, president of Goodyear’s consumer business in North America, said consumers use Goodyear.com “to research tires and find you, our aligned retailers.
“Our research indicates over one-third of tire units sold through the Tire and Service Network came after a visit to Goodyear.com. That’s why we’ve built the connected business model, to make it easy for consumers to choose Goodyear and connect them to retailers like you who leverage our assets and help close the sale.”
In a video highlighting Jack Williams Tire Co. Inc., a Pennsylvania-based tire dealership that celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, the tire dealer said it has embraced Goodyear’s “connected business model” and has “really seen a growth with it since we’ve integrated our inventory.”
Rogers said, “Our commitment to all of you, our aligned customers, is that we will never stop testing, learning and innovating so we can build the assets we need to win together in the marketplace and position all of us for continued success.”
Ever wonder what single question an executive is asked most frequently? Dwyer shared his.
“How can I capture more sales and grow profitability in a changing industry?”
Here’s his response: “The answer is Goodyear. For more than 120 years Goodyear has been focused on helping you stand out and grow despite change. We strive not only to stay ahead but to lead. This is our competitive advantage. It’s how we have and will continue to win together.”
The cycle of creating demand, driving consumers to stores, and ultimately helping to close the sale “all starts with our brand,” Dwyer said. “When consumers are ready to buy tires we want them to think of Goodyear first. We do this by making sure our brand stands out, and that consumers can connect to it.”
In 2020, Goodyear will update the brand’s look with a new ad that will premiere Feb. 16 during the Daytona 500. (It’s a mix of graffiti art, the Wingfoot and one of Steppenwolf’s most popular songs.) After it’s premiere, Dwyer said the ad will be used during NASCAR, college football and NBA events.
Refreshed lineup drives demand
The customers who attended this year’s Goodyear conference represented more than 400 tire dealerships. Rogers told them they helped Goodyear record its highest consumer tire volume in five years. 2019 was a second straight year of volume growth, and Rogers said Goodyear outpaced the industry in sizes 17 inches and above.
The higher sales in 2019 came as Goodyear added 20 more original equipment fitments to its flock. Goodyear is OE on six of the top 10 selling vehicles and continues as the No. 1 tire supplier on full-size pickups. (That’s a record Rogers said Goodyear has held for 20 years.)
And, in the last three years, Goodyear has launched 15 new product lines. (The company will add two more new consumer products to its portfolio in 2020.)
Of those new products, Dwyer noted the success of the Goodyear Assurance MaxLife. Launched in 2018, it was the company’s fastest growing tire in 2019; more than 1 million units were sold last year.