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Goodyear shipments for November fail to keep up with industry

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s shipments in North America in November did not keep pace with the industry, according to the company.

Goodyear's Investor Relations department released the following operating highlights for its North American Tire division for November:

* While industry shipments of consumer replacement tires were 1% below last year's levels, Goodyear shipments of replacement tires declined more than the market. "However, Goodyear and Dunlop's market share improved in November from the October level, with both brands showing their highest share level in the past four months," said the company.

* Industry shipments of commercial replacement tires were up 5% over last year's levels. Compared with last year, Goodyear shipments "grew slower than the market," but market share "increased in November compared with October."

* Industry shipments to original equipment customers decreased 1% from a year ago for consumer tires and increased 22% for commercial tires. "As a result of Goodyear's strategy

to disengage from non-profitable OE business, shipments of OE consumer tires declined more than the industry," said the company.

Conversely, Goodyear's shipments of OE commercial tires grew faster than industry shipments "due to good trailer and intermediate duty truck tire orders."

* Unfavorable price/mix due to lower consumer replacement volumes and higher conversion costs "were partially offset by lower transportation costs, improved profitability in the commercial truck tire business and targeted cost containment efforts."

In Europe, Goodyear's replacement consumer and commercial tire shipments and OE consumer shipments declined more than the industry. Goodyear says the decline in replacement tires "was due to the exit of non-profitable brands in the United Kingdom and weaker performance in Germany after a very strong October." OE commercial tire shipments were higher than industry levels.

In Eastern Europe, consumer replacement and OE tire unit sales for Goodyear were up significantly compared with November of last year. Strong sales in Poland and the Middle East fueled the growth, according to the company. Goodyear sales in the commercial replacement market also showed growth, while sales in the OE market declined.

Operating income improved significantly over last year due to lower conversion costs, favorable price/mix and positive translation.

In Latin America, replacement tire shipments were flat compared with November 2001, while OE tire shipments declined due to lower sales in

Mexico and Venezuela. Goodyear said price recovery was offset by currency devaluation and higher SAG expenses.

In Asia, OE tire shipments for November increased significantly from 2001 levels. Replacement tire shipments decreased due primarily to slower sales in the Philippines and Indonesia. An improved price/mix and favorable conversion costs increased

operating income.

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