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Goodyear to maximize North American assets

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During a conference call following the release of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s third quarter financial results, Richard Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company experienced:

* an increase in commercial truck tire volumes globally,

* higher levels of factory utilization and higher productivity flowing to the bottom line, and

* year-to-date cost savings that now total approximately $350 million.

In its North American business, he said the company remains focused on both improving its operating efficiency and improving the mix of tires being produced “Ultimately, our supply chain goal is to efficiently make only the right tires, thereby reducing investment in inventory while simultaneously improving our fill rates. And we’re making progress,” Kramer said.

“Our plant leverage has certainly been improving as the industry volumes rebound. However, we also continue to drive productivity by producing more from our existing assets, as well.”

He reported he recently visited the company’s Fayetteville, N.C., plant, where they make many of the company’s newest products and where he saw examples of double digit productivity improvements being achieved.

“This is an excellent example of what is possible under our 2009 labor contract with the United Steelworkers, who have been and will be instrumental in achieving these gains.

“While we obviously have more work to do in North America, that visit gave me even more confidence in our ability to drive further productivity in our domestic factories.”    

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