AKRON-Goodyear-which hopes to increase its North American tire sales twice as rapidly as the market itself is growing-is decentralizing its U.S. replacement tire sales force to become more responsive to local market conditions. Under the decentralization plan, enacted April 3, the company's 26 former sales districts were consolidated into nine field business regions, each headed by a general business manager.
Built into the plan is the provision for making the field sales business managers accountable for Goodyear's financial performance relating to independent dealers and Goodyear-owned outlets, according to Sam F. Gibara, the company's newly named president and chief operating officer.
``The general business manager in each region will be responsible for a three-year business plan outlining objectives, strategies and action plans for growing market share, expanding distribution and maximizing profitability,'' said Mr. Gibara, who added; ``We consider our traditional channel of distribution, our independent dealer organization, to be the primary vehicle for growth.''
Mr. Gibara said the move will help the company capitalize on synergies resulting from more focused marketing and advertising programs and better execution at the field level resulting from closer coordination between dealers and company-owned outlets.
He said creation of the new sales organization delivers on a promise Goodyear made at the its annual dealer conference in San Diego during January.
``When we announced our 1995 programs and strategies, we told dealers our sales organization would have more autonomy to respond quickly to their needs and to local market conditions,'' Mr. Gibara said.
He said the new sales structure strengthens Goodyear's previously announced 1995 programs, including dealer expansion support, local supply points and a ``state-of-the-art'' system offering dealers a single contact point for ordering and answering their questions.
Goodyear told stockholders at its annual meeting April 10 (where Mr. Gibara's appointment also was announced) that it hopes to increase its North American sales at twice the market's 2.5-percent predicted growth rate over the next few years.
Named general business managers in the nine new regions were:
Mike Abney, former Atlanta district manager, now in charge of the Mid-South region, headquartered in Atlanta;
Ron Doherty, former general manager of the commercial products division, North Central region, Chicago;
Bill Friel, former Philadelphia district manager, Mid-Atlantic region, Philadelphia;
Chuck Mick, former director of finance-replacement tires, Southern region, Jacksonville, Fla.;
John E. Peer, former general manager of consumer products, Great Lakes region, Cleveland;
Kelly Pickett, former Dallas district manager, Central region, Dallas;
Tom Ruschhaupt, former general manager of retail store advertising and marketing, Northwest region, San Francisco;
Fred Taylor, former Los Angeles district manager, West region, Los Angeles;
Jim Vogel, former general manager of the Goodyear-owned Sam's Tire chain, Northeast region, Somerset, N.J.