Goodyear intends to boost capital spending this year by about a third to more than $1 billion, as the company moves to keep pace with recovering demand in its key markets.
Goodyear's annual capital spending has topped $1 billion only once before in the firm's history, $1.05 billion in 2008. That amount of spending this year would represent about 5.5 percent of the firm's projected sales this year, easily the highest
ratio in more than a decade.
The Akron-based tire maker invested $724 million in capital improvements in 2009.
Goodyear's only large investment project on record so far this year is a 200,000-sq.-ft. expansion of its Lawton, Okla., passenger tire plant. Goodyear's not commented on that project's value, but sources in Oklahoma have estimated it at $150 million.
Goodyear also is in the midst of a several-year, $500 million relocation/expansion of a plant in Dalian, China, and is installing capacity at its Topeka, Kan., plant for 63-inch OTR radials.
It was a more robust first-half recovery worldwide, particularly in North America and Europe, new President and CEO Richard Kramer said during a recent conference call.