AKRON — Goodyear is positioned to take advantage of the "accelerating shift to high value-added tires," Chairman, CEO and President Richard Kramer told shareholders this week in Akron.
Goodyear's advantage over its competitors, Mr. Kramer claimed, is the company's connected business model, which integrates its "consumer-facing" strengths — such as key marketing initiatives and OE relationships — with its aligned distribution network.
"Some tire companies are strong in one or a few of these areas," he said, "but very few can manage all the elements of complexity within a connected business model like Goodyear."
The shift to high-value-added tires for both consumer vehicles and commercial trucks is the primary trend shaping the industry's future, Mr. Kramer said at the company's annual shareholder meeting April 10.
In consumer tires the trend is toward tires with rim diameters of 17 inches and larger; demand for such tires has doubled since 2010 and is expected to double again by 2020, he said.
Other trends cited were the complexity of supplying auto makers due to the increasing variety of vehicle offerings and the changing expectations of technology-enabled consumers.
During the meeting, shareholders re-elected 13 members of the company's board of directors to new one-year terms, approved Goodyear's 2017 performance plan and voted to ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2017.
A shareholder proposal to require that future board chairpersons be independent directors was not approved.