Kramer Outlines Goodyear's Strategy Roadmap, Highlights Successes

April 17, 2012

AKRON, Ohio, April 17, 2012 – In his address at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Annual Shareholder Meeting today, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Kramer outlined the company’s Strategy Roadmap, highlighted its 2011 successes and expressed his confidence in the future.

Kramer said he is pleased with Goodyear’s 2011 performance, which set records in several areas.  Among these achievements were:

• Record sales of $22.8 billion, up 21 percent from 2010,
• Record segment operating income, up almost 50 percent from 2010 and 10 percent higher  than the company’s previous high,
• Record sales in all four business units and significant earnings improvement in the North America and Europe, Middle East & Africa businesses, and
• Improved price/mix and branded share gains in targeted market segments.

“What is most gratifying,” Kramer said, “is that our record results across all global businesses were achieved in the midst of continued economic uncertainty around the world through successful execution of our strategy.

“Our Strategy Roadmap is the foundation for decisions on every aspect of the business, from marketing and product development to investment and team building.” 

Within that framework, the company has three key strategies, which Kramer said are essential to its future.  They are:

• Returning North American Tire to sustained profitability,
• Winning in China, and
• Continuing its traditional success in Europe, Middle East & Africa and Latin America. 

Kramer said the path to delivering on these key strategies is formed by five key areas of execution, or as he calls them, the key “how to’s.”  “Our performance in these five areas served as the catalyst for our record results and continues to be our playbook going forward.”  They are:

• Market-back innovation excellence,
• Targeting profitable market segments,
• Operational excellence,
• Enabling investments, and
• Top talents and teams. 

“As we execute in these five areas, we are confident that we will create a stronger company, both competitively and financially in both the near term and over the long term,” Kramer said.

Acknowledging that there remain challenges to be faced, Kramer said, “We have positive momentum and more confidence than ever that we will successfully execute our strategy, reach our destination and create sustainable economic value.  We will be profitable through all economic cycles, generate positive cash flow and return to investment grade.  That is our destination.”

Commenting on construction of the company’s new global headquarters campus in Akron, he said it represents “more than just a new place to work, it will serve as an environment for a new way to work.”  Goodyear expects the new headquarters to be completed in April 2013.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies.  It employs approximately 73,000 people and manufactures its products in 53 facilities in 22 countries around the world.  Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.  For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.

Certain information contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, that affect our operations, performance, business strategy and results and could cause our actual results and experience to differ materially from the assumptions, expectations and objectives expressed in any forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to:  our ability to realize anticipated savings and operational benefits from our cost reduction initiatives or to implement successfully other strategic initiatives; increases in the prices paid for raw materials and energy; pension plan funding obligations; actions and initiatives taken by both current and potential competitors; deteriorating economic conditions or an inability to access capital markets; work stoppages, financial difficulties or supply disruptions at our suppliers or customers; the adequacy of our capital expenditures; a labor strike, work stoppage or other similar event; our failure to comply with a material covenant in our debt obligations; potential adverse consequences of litigation involving the company; as well as the effects of more general factors such as changes in general market, economic or political conditions or in legislation, regulation or public policy. Additional factors are discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change.