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Goodyear tire shipments lag behind industry

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s consumer replacement tire shipments were "almost flat" last month, according to the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker.

Its shipments didn't keep pace with the industry, however. Through the first two months of the year, industry shipments of consumer replacement tires to dealers and distributors were 8% higher than they were the same time a year ago.

"Goodyear dealers postponed purchases in January and February as some pre-bought in December and industry retail demand was weaker than expected.

"Additionally, some Goodyear distributors delayed purchases due to modifications in the company's distribution model."

In its monthly investor update, Goodyear said the increases in 2002 industry shipments "were driven by competitor dealers pre-buying ahead of price increases."

Goodyear's commercial replacement tire shipments in February "were also up, but not as much as the industry due to pre-buying by competitor dealers in advance of price increases."

The manufacturer's original equipment shipments last month "were better than the industry," which averaged a 10% increase for consumer tires but a 17% drop for commercial tires, according to Goodyear officials.

Goodyear also cautions that operating income for the first quarter of 2002 will be negatively impacted by $80 million vs. Q1 2000 "due to substantial production cutbacks made in the fourth quarter."

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