For the first time in several years, U.S. tire industry output grew. A Rubber Manufacturers Association report says production in 2015 of passenger, light truck and medium truck and bus tires rose nearly 8 percent. Reasons for the growth include low fuel prices and rising auto and truck sales. Rick Rebadow of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce says the U.S. tire industry’s growth bodes well for the city. And, he says it shows the value of major expansions earlier this decade at Akron-based research and development centers for Goodyear and Bridgestone.
“Both companies are big employers in the Akron area, almost 4,000 jobs. And so it’s really good news for our region. And you can see that the investment that they put both in the Goodyear facility and the Bridgestone facility is paying off.”
Rebadow says predictions that gasoline prices will remain low this year is more good news for the tire industry.