Keegan tells TBC dealers that turnaround plan is unfolding nicely

Jan. 15, 2004

Bob Keegan says Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s three-year turnaround plan is on course.

Speaking to 300 of TBC Corp.’s private brand dealers in Desert Palms, Calif., earlier today, Keegan outlined the strategic direction of the company’s turnaround and reaffirmed the importance of customers and relationships in driving those efforts.

He addressed the "seven reasons to believe" that Goodyear’s turnaround course is well planned, and is being effectively executed.

Keegan said leadership was the key reason to believe because Goodyear has the "right teams in place." That includes Goodyear's North American Tire (NAT) operations.

"Without the right people in the right positions throughout our business, the (other reasons to believe) simply will not be executed successfully.... With Jon (President Jon Rich), Larry (NAT Consumer President Larry Mason) and Jack (NAT Vice President of Sales Jack Winterton), we have three individuals with vastly different and diverse backgrounds. They all have one very critical commonality -- they are all very passionate about, and have a huge commitment to our customers, and winning through our customers."

In addition to leadership, the other six strategic drivers of the turnaround are: "cash is king," "lower cost structure," "leveraged distribution," "building brand strength," "product leadership" and "advantaged supply chain."

Keegan also reaffirmed Goodyear’s commitment to TBC and to the private brand tire business.

"(TBC) is certainly strategic in our eyes," he said. "And the balance that we strike across both branded and private branded tires make Goodyear strategic to TBC’s future as well.

"We are playing only with the strong players. That makes good business sense. But where we play, we intend to win, and that includes private brands."

Keegan said TBC is at the heart of Goodyear's strategy for leveraged distribution. "Our relationship with TBC is a critical one that adds strength to what is the best and most balanced base of customers in the industry."

Goodyear’s successful turnaround story is one that ultimately will be measured by customers, he said. "I assure you that it will be a story with a happy ending.

"In the end, you will have an even stronger supplier in TBC, TBC will have a stronger supplier in Goodyear, and Goodyear will have customers behind the wheel, driving the turnaround."