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Goodyear's Keegan discusses products, mix and price

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On the heels of record second quarter sales for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Chairman and CEO Bob Keegan addressed several key topics in a conference call with analysts and investors this morning.

* Products. Goodyear's Assurance line "is outperforming its 2004 unit sales levels," according to Keegan. Sales of Goodyear's Fortera and Wrangler Silent Armor tires "are challenging the record launch numbers of the Assurance family." More new products are planned throughout 2005.

* Product mix. Goodyear brand tires continued to drive the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker's overall product mix during the second quarter. The company also will continue to pursue its selective original equipment strategy in order to improve profitability at that level, says Keegan.

* Price increases. "We recovered our raw material (cost) increases during the second quarter" thanks to successful price hikes.

(Earlier this week, Goodyear announced another round of price increases, effective Sept. 1.)

"We're becoming a stronger competitor than we were before," says Keegan. "You're going to see a lot of activity from us over the balance of the year."

Yesterday, Goodyear announced it has achieved net income of $69 million on record sales of $5 billion during the second quarter of 2005. That compares to income of $30 million on sales of $4.5 billion during the same period in 2004.

Goodyear's 2Q 2005 unit volume totaled 56.4 million, up 2.5% from 2Q 2004 volumes.

The company's total segment operating income for the second quarter was $316 million, a 24% jump over $254 million during the same period last year.

All of Goodyear's tire businesses reported higher 2Q segment operating income versus the previous year.

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