Kramer Confident in Goodyear's Ability to Grow
Goodyear’s newly appointed president and CEO has expressed confidence in the tyre maker’s ability to grow in hand with global economic recovery. At the company’s April 13 Annual Shareholder Meeting, Kramer stated this confidence is supported by the Goodyear’s very strong portfolio of brands, strength in high-growth emerging markets, innovative new product offerings, industry-leading retailer network and enhanced supply chain capabilities.
“I am excited about the opportunity that growth will provide to Goodyear,” he said. “As tyre complexity increases at rates previously unheard of, Goodyear’s global presence, broad technical capability and addiction to speed as a trademark of our pace of change all provide us with a clear competitive advantage during this period.”
While Goodyear’s 2009 financial results reflected the impact of the global recession, Kramer noted a number of accomplishments achieved during the year that position the America tyre maker for future success. These included the introduction of new products such as the Assurance Fuel Max in North America, EfficientGrip in Europe and Eagle F1 Asymmetric in the Asia-Pacific region; completion of the company’s four-point cost savings plan, which achieved US$2.5 billion in savings altogether and $730 million in 2009 alone; inventory reductions of more than $1 billion resulting from supply chain improvements and production cuts; labour agreements in the United States that will save the company approximately $500 million over four years; and improved liquidity due to actions taken to reduce working capital requirements and a successful $1 billion bond offering.
“It is very clear to me that we continue to be focused on the right drivers of our business, and those business drivers will continue to define and support our global growth plans with an emphasis on the emerging markets,” Kramer commented.
While declaring he is excited and confident about the company’s future, Kramer said he is also “very realistic about our challenges, given what remains a somewhat uncertain global economy as well as an increasingly competitive tyre industry.
“I am committed to excellence in everything we do – from people development, to operating efficiency, to supply chain, to enhanced customer service. We will remain a customer-centric company. We will strive to earn our customers’ business every day with the industry’s best products packed with innovation,” he stated.