As part of a general restructuring of its private label manufacturing operation, Goodyear has eliminated several brand names from the fold, primarily in its European portfolio. More cuts are on the way, but the company said no timetable is set.
Private labels gone from the overseas portfolio are Delta, Ohtsu, Trident, Voyager, Kelly, Lee, Diplomat, India, Seal and Durant.
``We didn't have enough business with some of the brands to promote and advertise them as separate brands,'' said Keith Price, Goodyear manager, financial and business communications. ``We're doing away with some of the little ones.''
The company would not say if it plans to drop any brands in North America, calling that ``proprietary'' information.
Kelly isn't a ``little one'' domestically, but overseas it's just another name, said Chris Aked, Goodyear's director of global communications, noting many brands popular in the U.S. are virtually unknown abroad.
Among the brands being discontinued, Mr. Aked said, are ``one or two'' former brands owned by Dunlop in Europe. He referred to them as being ``tidied up.''
``When we took the Dunlop joint venture, especially in Europe, we said we would look at brands and decide which ones could work and which ones we could give enough marketing support to. Now we are getting to the point where we are getting a comfortable number of brands.''
Mr. Aked said other brands are in the process of being removed. In Goodyear's annual report, it said the company will target its resources to better market the Goodyear, Dunlop, Fulda and Pneumant brands in Europe, noting that nearly 30 brands ultimately would be discontinued.
Mr. Aked said one or two more European brands are in the process of being phased out, as well as brands elsewhere, which have not yet been announced. He would offer no time frame as to when this might occur.
``We wouldn't say for obvious reasons what the timetable was,'' he said. ``This is something progressive. You don't say there's any one point where you have reached the optimum. The key is to address customer needs. What may be right at this moment in time, in a year or two, that may not be the case. That's the attitude we adopt throughout the company.''