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Goodyear and SRI end partnership

Goodyear has reached an agreement with Sumitomo Rubber Industries to dissolve the 16-year global alliance between the two companies

by Rachel Evans

 

Goodyear and Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) have decided to end their alliance. The partnership was first formed in 1999 and primarily consisted of four joint venture businesses operating in North America, Europe and Japan. Under the agreement, supply arrangements have been made between the two manufacturers that will enable them to continue to source tires from each other. Various other strategic transactions have been agreed upon.

SRI is acquiring Goodyear’s 75% stake in Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America (GDTNA), which primarily manufactures and sells Dunlop brand tires in North America. The structures of the joint ventures in North America and Europe are very different – Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe includes both the Dunlop business and Goodyear’s EU operations. In North America, GDTNA only includes the Dunlop business. In addition, GDTNA owns the Tonawanda, New York tire plant. Goodyear will retain rights to the Dunlop brand for replacement and commercial replacement and OE customers, except for the Japanese auto makers.

Also in North America, in addition to assuming full ownership of the Dunlop motorcycle tire business, SRI will have rights to sell Dunlop brand tires to Japanese vehicle manufacturers in the USA, Canada and Mexico; Goodyear notes that although the motorcycle business in North America has been beneficial and profitable to the company, it doesn’t fit with Goodyear’s long-term strategic plan.

Meanwhile, SRI already sells Dunlop brand tires to Japanese auto makers in Japan. This agreement gives Goodyear added flexibility to grow profitably in the replacement market. It will continue to produce Dunlop replacement products for North American markets.

In Japan, SRI (currently 75% interest) will acquire Goodyear’s 25% share in Dunlop Goodyear Tires, which serves the original equipment market there. SRI will acquire that business, but will no longer sell Goodyear brand tires. Goodyear will acquire the Nippon Goodyear joint venture and begin selling Goodyear brand tires to both OE and replacement customers. While it understands the importance of local development in Japan for Japanese customers, Goodyear says it has no expansion plans in place there at present.

12 June, 2015

 

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