SURE Tire comments on Goodyear's private brand plans

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SURE Tire Co., one of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s private brand tire customers, has issued a statement regarding Goodyear's plans to eliminate 10 private brands.

Goodyear made the announcement last week.

"Although the timing of Goodyear's announcement was a surprise, the potential for such an announcement had been foreseen, and as a result we were already working toward making changes," say SURE Tire officials.

"SURE Tire has a definitive strategy that will carry us forward through this transition. We are currently working with various manufacturers to accomplish this goal.

"As in the past, the message to our shareholders and their customers is the same as always: SURE Tire will continue to provide our members with the highest quality private branded tires as we move to other manufacturers.

"The shareholders of SURE Tire are solidly behind our initiatives, and it's business as usual as we continue building toward a stronger future."

SURE Tire says Goodyear has provided a transition time of 12 months "to accomplish their phase-out plan."

Goodyear's private brand decision "is part of our continuing strategy to focus selectively on the more profitable segments of the business," says Jon Rich, president of Goodyear's North American Tire business.

"Our intention is to build upon the market strength we have established in our branded and retailer-specific product lines."

The action affects approximately 10 private brands that are sold by a small number of wholesale customers to tire retailers.

Earlier this year, Goodyear said its new Fierce tuner brand would replace the Essenza private brand it built for SURE Tire. Since then, SURE has been phasing out Essenza.

The cuts will eliminate about eight million units that the company manufactured in five of its North American plants: Fayetteville, N.C., Gadsden, Ala., Tyler, Texas, Union City, Tenn., and Valleyfield, Quebec.

The decision will require a corresponding reduction in Goodyear’s tire manufacturing capacity in North America.

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