Next quarter will be better, Goodyear says

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. anticipates a better second quarter following first quarter losses.

"The second quarter of 2001 should show a continuous improvement over the first quarter," says Goodyear Chairman and CEO Sam Gibara.

The Akron, Ohio-based manufacturer will "aggressively" pursue market share gains at both the replacement and original equipment levels.

First quarter domestic passenger and light truck tire replacement sales were down 7% -- "the biggest drop we've seen in the North American market since 1980," Gibara says. "OE business was down 17%, the steepest decline we've seen in 10 years. But we expect significant unit growth during the second quarter due to industry growth and new platforms Goodyear will participate in."

The commercial side of Goodyear's North American tire business also dropped significantly during the first three months of 2001.

Gibara says Goodyear will reduce production even more over the next several months, "which will paint a more profitable picture. We will cut substantially in the second quarter and will bring inventory to where it needs to be by the end of June."

Second quarter financial results will be released in July, according to Goodyear officials. The tiremaker released its first quarter results earlier this morning.

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