AKRON—Goodyear will begin hawking Dunlop-brand tires in some of its stores this year under an expanded alliance with Tokyo-based Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. In February the two tire makers agreed to exchange replacement tire manufacturing capacity in the U.S. and Japan. On May 12, Goodyear and Sumitomo's U.S. subsidiary, Dunlop Tire Corp., expanded that relationship to include test-marketing programs for each other's brands.
During the one-year trial period, Goodyear will carry Dunlop-brand car tires in: Just Tires company-owned stores in Los Angeles; Goodyear company-owned outlets in Indianapolis; Kramer Tire Co. Inc., an independent Goodyear dealership with 17 outlets in the Norfolk, Va., market; and selected sites in Mexico.
Meanwhile, Sumitomo will test-market Goodyear tires through its distribution system in Japan.
``In the United States and in Mexico, we will be able to evaluate the opportunities provided by offering our customers an additional name brand in a more convenient fashion,'' said Goodyear Chairman Sam Gibara.
``As far as Japan is concerned, the move will enable us to improve our market share, using Sumitomo's extensive distribution network.''
Under the earlier agreement, Goodyear will manufacture up to 2 million passenger and light truck tires in North America for Dunlop and another Sumitomo affiliate, Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., which distributes through Falken Tire Corp., based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Sumitomo will produce up to 2 million Goodyear tires for sale in Japan.
Analyst Harry Millis of Fundamental Research said both companies should gain from the marketing arrangement. ``You're selling tires under another name that you are building anyway,'' he noted. ``I see no reason why it shouldn't be an effective strategy,'' Mr. Millis said.