Goodyear restructures North American Tire operations

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has split its North American Tire operations into four separate business segments: Consumer Replacement (which includes Consumer OE), Commercial Systems, Farm Tires and Retail Operations.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker also has named top executives for each division: Jim Vogel, vice president of Consumer Tires; Ted Fick, vice president of Commercial Systems; and Mark Pillow, director of Farm Tires. John Peer will remain director of Retail Operations.

Bryan Kinnamon, vice president OE, will continue to oversee Goodyear's consumer original equipment business.

Fick joins Goodyear from Hino Diesel Trucks Inc., a Toyota subsidiary.

The company also is consolidating its eight U.S. sales regions into two regions, East and West.

Six regional offices will close within the next six months as a result. Forty-five jobs are expected to be eliminated, though a spokesman says "some (employees) will be picked up in other areas."

The newly created consumer and commercial divisions will have their own separate sales forces, according to Goodyear officials.

"We will be adding positions for more coverage on the commercial side," says a spokesman.

In addition, Goodyear will set up a dedicated consumer replacement call center that tire dealers can use. "It will support our regional field people."

Goodyear says the restructuring will make it "more responsive and more focused on what dealers need."

The changes "fit hand-in-hand" with the tiremaker's new G3Xpress distribution program announced in late October at The International Tire Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

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