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Goodyear moving tire production out of Taiwan plant

tire wholesalers goodyearGoodyear has announced that they will be closing there one and only plant in Taiwan in an effort to reduce costs. They will seek to move production to a lower-cost country. The Taoyuan plant currently manufacturers passenger and light truck/SUV tires and employs over 250 people. The plant has been pumping out Goodyear tires for the Taiwan and Asian export markets for 41 years. The official last day of the plant is just a couple months from now: July 31, 2010.

Despite the plant closure, the company released a statement that reiterated the fact that “Goodyear remains committed to the Taiwan market and will work to ensure that there is no disruption to the supply of products or services to its valued customers.”
Just 3 years ago, Goodyear had announced ambitious plans to invest almost $300 million in modernizing the facility and equiping it for the production of low-profile premium tires. In 2007, Goodyear Asia Pacific president Pierre Cohade had said: “This new investment underscores our confidence in Taiwan’s manufacturing capabilities, with its unprecedented competence in innovation, high-quality and flexible workforce, as well as its supply chain management. For Goodyear, we will continue to work with our partners to provide best-of-breed products and services to meet the needs of our customers in the Taiwan and global markets.”

It seems that despite their best intentions, Goodyear has fallen victim to the hard-hitting downturn that is affecting so many companies in the automotive industry. It will be interesting to see which “low-cost” country receives the privilege of hosting Goodyear’s new plant. Tire wholesalers should not expect any delay or disruption in inventory. No word yet on when that decision will be made.

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Filed under: Goodyear Tires, Tire News, Uncategorized

RMA: US replacement tire market is on the rebound

Finally, some good news for the tire industry. Members of the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association reported yesterday that demand for replacement tires grew 9.3% year-over-year in the US during December. These numbers signify signs of a rebound for the replacement tire market, which has been hard hit in the last year amid a far-reaching global recession.  Domestic tire manufacturers such as Cooper and Goodyear seem to have gained market share, as the overall market volume grew 6.1%. This is believed to be a result of the tire tariffs imposed on Chinese tire manufacturers by the Obama administration. As Chinese manufacturers lose ground due to the tariff, domestic manufacturers are stepping and in and filling the demand.

In light of this news, financial analysts at Deutsche Bank expect Goodyear and Cooper’s volumes to grow to 4% and 13%, instead of the current negative growth trends that both companies are currently experiencing.

In a further investor’s note published Jan. 13, Deutsche Bank described the North American fourth quarter 2009 market recovery as a “meaningful volume uptick.” Meanwhile, Europe is said to have experienced “strong sales of winter tires.” Tire trends in Asia are also said to be encouraging, with Goodyear “particularly exposed to Australia, which has experienced a strong recovery as rising commodity prices have boosted that economy.”

Filed under: Cooper Tires, Goodyear Tires, Rubber Manufacturers Association, Tire News, Tire Sales, , , , ,

Goodyear Introduces New Wrangler MTR with Kevlar

goodyear-mtr-with-kevlar
When it comes to tough materials, it doesn’t get any tougher than Kevlar. This powerful material gained fame for its use in bulletproof vests but is now being used in a variety of other applications, including the newest off-road tire from Goodyear. The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R is the company’s first tire built with Kevlar to protect from sidewall punctures on rugged terrain. When choosing a material for enhanced puncture protection, Kevlar is the obvious choice: Pound-for-pound the material is almost five times stronger than steel! The Kevlar reinforcement provides a 35 percent increase in puncture resistance compared to the original MT/R model.

“The new Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar updates the legendary off-road performing namesake, which has had a great reputation among serious off-roaders,” said Melissa Montisano, Goodyear’s general manager for light-truck tires. “This new tire will certainly get the attention of anyone who takes off-road traction seriously.”

The Wrangler MT/R is available in 30 popular sizes and will fit popular light trucks such as the Hummer H2 and H3, Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler, and more. If you’re interested in purchasing the Wrangler MT/Rs for your vehicle you can buy new tires online.

Filed under: Goodyear Tires, Truck Tires, , , , ,

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tire slated as OE for Chevy Volt

GM Chevy Volt Tires

One of Goodyear’s newest radials, the Assurance Fuel Max, has been designated as the original equipment tire on the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. The Chevy Vol garnered some serious attention from the media when it was unveiled as the first hi-tech vehicle to run solely on an electric motor. The Volt does feature a small gasoline engine, but the engine is primarily used to recharge the vehicles batteries or to power the electric motor.

With gas mileage and eco-friendliness the obvious centerpiece of the Volt, GM has made the obvious choice to choose OE tires that provide low rolling resistance and better gas mileage. The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires provide a 4 percent improvement in highway fuel economy, and are starting to show up in the inventories of wholesale tire dealers around the country.

Filed under: Eco-friendly Tires, Goodyear Tires, , ,