SHANGHAI — Goodyear and JD.com, China's largest retailer, signed a strategic partnership recently that makes the Akron-based tire maker's products available on a Goodyear-branded channel on JD.com.
The agreement, signed in Shanghai on Dec. 1, includes collaboration between JD's auto platform and Goodyear's tire and service centers in 10 Chinese cities.
Goodyear said the partnership emphasizes Goodyear's efforts to build a new distribution model and position itself in the expanding Chinese automotive aftermarket.
"The tire industry in China has a significant need to leverage the 'Internet plus' trend to stay ahead of the shift toward a high-level consumption experience," said Goodyear's Yang Jian, vice president, Southern China.
"At Goodyear, we have seen the growing importance of e-commerce in China's auto aftermarket, and we are embracing the trend by modernizing our distribution network," he said.
"By offering key products online and leveraging JD's omni-channel capabilities, Goodyear will significantly expand its distribution network in China, ramp up consumers' trust that they are receiving authentic products and provide customers with premium, quality service."
Yishen Tang, general manager of JD's auto accessories department, said the partnership "underscores how our reach can help simplify the e-commerce experience for products that have traditionally been more challenging to sell online, leveraging our massive network and big data capabilities."
Goodyear said the partnership disrupts its traditional, multi-layer agents-based distribution network, shortening the supply chain and targeting consumers more efficiently.
The agreement also calls for Goodyear to support JD during key events, such as its June 18 anniversary sale and its Nov. 11 and Dec. 12 shopping holidays, as well as sector specific sales. During these campaigns, JD will promote Goodyear products.
Goodyear said it will use big data analysis to understand customer needs better and adapt to market demand more swiftly.