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Goodyear will eliminate Lee and Star associate brands

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is in the process of phasing out its Lee and Star associate brand tires. "It's happening immediately," says a Goodyear spokesman. "We're basically selling down our inventory."

The decision to drop Lee and Star is part of Goodyear's previously announced plan to reduce its private brand business.

"We're trying to focus more... on our key products," says the spokesman, who adds that dealers and distributors who carry Lee and Star will have the option to replace them with the Remington and Republic brands.

Lee and Star brand products are manufactured "at various plants."

Earlier this month, Goodyear, responding to questions and rumors about the uncertain future and possible elimination of the Kelly brand, said the brand wasn't going anywhere (see "Goodyear takes care of brand awareness during strike," Nov. 9, 2006).

"Goodyear believes, as do its dealers, that the Kelly brand is a very strong and viable brand," said the company in a letter sent to its Kelly dealers.

"The brand retains appeal with consumers, and is widely known in many regional markets and with our dealers. In recent years, Goodyear has committed to the Kelly brand with new products, more POS materials, dealer-tagged advertisements and improved support programs.

"Goodyear looks ahead to many more exciting years for the Kelly brand."

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