AKRON (Jan. 30, 2003) — Though analysts and dealers are expecting more changes from Goodyear, the Akron firm said Jan. 30 it had not made any final decisions on cutting capacity in North American plants.
A spokesman said media reports citing a planned 15-percent cut in North American capacity are based on a draft of a company memo that had not been approved.
“We have no further capacity reductions to announce,” he said, alluding to the announced layoffs in January of 734 workers.
“Our intention is to continue to rationalize our manufacturing to take advantage of the global footprint,” the spokesman said. “But our desire is to have the North American plants as an important part of that footprint.”
David Bradley, an analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase in New York, said whatever specific plans end up being finalized, they will have to be both drastic and significant. That could include more layoffs or capacity reductions, as long as they don't negatively affect customer relations or the company's financial state.
He estimates that two of Goodyear's 13 North American plants could stand to be cut.
“They need to come up with a package of measures to improve profitability,” he told Tire Business.