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Economy and Business


Goodyear CEO looks to 2013
A new HQ in Akron, a new blimp, how about an improved economy? 
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Goodyear Chairman, President, and CEO Richard Kramer at the Akron Roundtable.
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The Chairman and CEO of Goodyear explained to the Akron Roundtable today (Thurs) how the company has been able to turn around its business in the past 10 years.  The continued sluggishness in the world market is not making it easy on the Akron-based tire maker.   But as WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports the moves the company made years ago may allow it to stay profitable in the lean times.    

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For Goodyear this year the first quarter was down, second quarter up, third quarter down and now Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer believes the 4th quarter will be up – at least for the North American tire segment, which accounts for the largest share of the company’s revenues.

“We expect our North American business will exceed its 2013 targets of $415m in earning one year ahead of our projected plan.”

And in the spring, Goodyear will move into its brand new headquarters in Akron and then launch its brand new model blimp.   It all seems good until you look at the drag from European sales.  Goodyear has made changes in its business over the last decade to increase profits but still, Kramer says even North American tire demand is down to the recession level of 2008. 

“That means there are not a lot of people buying as many tires as they used to.  And until the economy comes back that’s the world we’re going to have live in and we’ve made a lot of adjustments to do better in that environment.”

Sales in North America and Asia will carry the company but Kramer warns that the brinksmanship over fiscal cliff talks in Washington is hurting the economy by sapping consumer confidence.   But even with a sluggish market at home Kramer doesn’t  think government help is needed . .

“I don’t think government stimulus is going to be the answer for us; We just need a robust economy, things that inspire growth are going to take care of our business.”

Goodyear Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer.  He said it was community-wide  collaboration that helped keep the company in Akron and he offered to work with the community to maintain Akron’s competitive advantage. Goodyear’s new headquarters was built on Martha Avenue but the street name has been changed to Innovation Way. 

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