Goodyear Jamaica to Rebuild With Investment
In 2006 Goodyear Jamaica Ltd’s profits nose-dived more than 65 per cent, which was followed by a fire in January which meant its distribution network took a hit. However, at the beginning of July Goodyear Jamaica’s management announced plans to double its sales. In its first quarter to March, Goodyear posted losses of $3.8 million, saying the warehouse fire had consumed its profits.
“Inventory is almost 95 per cent back to its original level, and we have a full complement of staff to help regain the dominant position in the market,” Financial Controller Andrew Peart told local news sources, adding: “We will be selling the features and benefits of the product to consumers as we don’t think that the product is well differentiated in their minds.”
Jamaica had a tyre market of 1,008,116 – all imports – valued at just under $2 billion in 2004, according to the most recent data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.
Turnover of $562 million from exports to the regional markets in South America, Central America and the Caribbean accounted for 43 per cent of total business, growing by $120 million year on year. Domestic revenue remained flat at $738 million (2005: $736 million).
Goodyear ceased manufacturing tyres in Jamaica several years ago, but retains its distribution business at Spanish Town Road, Kingston. It sells both tyres and tubes, but the latter, according to Peart, is less than two per cent of its business mix.
The company has recently launched a road hazard “Good-To-Go Package”, guaranteeing customers special coverage for pothole damage and other mishaps, free membership into a tyre care club, and a manufacturer’s limited warranty.
Goodyear hopes to build an ‘exceptional’ distribution network by investing more in existing outlets and examining “key geographic void areas” to build sales, the Financial Gleaner reported. Manufacturer assistance will also include helping its network dealers transform their operations into “world-class retail facilities” and ensuring that each segment of the market is covered.
Stephen Miller was appointed CEO last September. Andrew Peart had his portfolio expanded to include the position of company secretary a month before. Another director, Veroncia Goldson, resigned from the company in February, according to filings with the Jamaica Stock Exchange.