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Goodyear's Kramer gives shareholders a taste of what to expect in 2011

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Goodyear's Kramer gives shareholders a taste of what to expect in 2011

Rich Kramer was pleased with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s performance in 2010. he says that momentum is carrying over to 2011.

Kramer, Goodyear's chairman, CEO and president, outlined some of the company's plans to attendees at the annual shareholder meeting in Akron, Ohio, on April 12. First and foremost is to be first with its customers by supplying the products they need in a timely manner.

"In North America, we were just awarded Supplier of the Year by Walmart," he said.

"Out of the more than 25,000 suppliers to Walmart overall, only seven companies earned this accolade. Goodyear was one of them. This is a tremendous honor, and third-party affirmation that our supply chain improvements are working."

Goodyear also is striving to be the leader in what Kramer calls "targeted market segments," which the company defines as "branded business, high value premium products with customers who are more inclined to sell Goodyear products."

"It's meant to underscore our strategy of not chasing volume for volume's sake," added Ed Markey, vice president of corporate communications.

Being innovative and "competitvely advantaged" in everything the company does also are hallmark's of Goodyear's current strategy, said Kramer.

"In 2011, we will invest more than $1 billion... to both sustain our business and to maximize our ability to grow profitably. Investments in products, equipment and plants will be aligned with our strategy and will allow us to maintain the highest possible level of flexibility throughout future economic cycles."

Kramer said the "critical element" that will bring Goodyear's strategies to life is "the passion, talent and strength" of its 72,000 associates, "from management to the shop floor."

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