AKRON-By the end of July, a task force is expected to release its recommendations for how and where Goodyear can consolidate redundancies among its North American operating units. Goodyear had stated at its annual stockholders' meeting in April that one of its major goals is to reduce costs, which could be achieved in part by consolidating its North American operations.
Those include the company's headquarters in Akron, its Cumberland, Md.-based Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. division, and Toronto-based Goodyear Canada Inc.
Assigned this mission, a task force, consisting of representatives of the three operations, has been working on recommendations since May.
The three units focus on different markets and have separate customer bases, but there is duplication of functions that could be consolidated, according to John Perduyn, Goodyear vice president of public affairs.
The goal, he said, ``is to eliminate duplication of work and try to consolidate it in a way that's more beneficial to customers.''
Already the tire maker has taken steps to integrate its operating units.
On July 1, Goodyear Canada's three regional vice presidents began reporting to Ed Gallagher, Goodyear's vice president of replacement sales in Akron.
Goodyear also combined the tactical business units of the three operations on July 1. They will develop Goodyear and Kelly-Springfield product plans and strategies for customers and channels of distribution in North America. Previously, each operation had its own strategic planning units.
Personnel heading the new business units include:
Bryan Kinnamon, general manager of Goodyear brand auto tires, who will chair the new Auto Tire Product Business Unit; Eric Brown, general manager of Goodyear-brand light truck tires, will head the Light-Truck Tire Product Business Unit; Donn Kramer, general manager of Goodyear-brand medium truck tires, will chair the Medium Truck Product Business Unit; and Tom Ford, general manager of farm/off-the-road/specialty tires, will chair the Farm Tire Product Business Unit.
Each unit includes a Kelly-Springfield representative as a co-chairman.
Goodyear realigned its North American tire operations in June, naming both Gene Culler, executive vice president of North American Tires, and Kelly-Springfield President Lee Fiedler, to head the division.