NASHVILLE — Rich Kramer doesn't consider the changing mobility in today's world as a threat to tire dealers, either today or in the future.
In fact, Mr. Kramer, the Goodyear chairman, CEO and president, told a group of 1,500 dealers that the new and developing means of mobility — be it fleets, autonomous vehicles, connectivity and electric vehicles, or FACE — "have the potential to launch a new wave of growth in the tire industry."
Mr. Kramer wrapped up the structured part of the 2018 Goodyear Customer Conference with his 36-minute keynote address, in which he reviewed some the company's initiatives, both past and present, and thanked dealers for their support and relationships.
The annual three-day conference concluded Saturday night at Gaylord Resort and Conference Center.
Mr. Kramer said the Akron-based tire maker is "positioned for success" in the new mobility system. He said forecasters believe the combination of these new mobility options could lead to a dramatic increase in vehicle miles driven, prompting an increase in tire demand. He said some believe that demand could double by 2030.
"That's all great news for you," he told dealers.
He said by continuing to forge strong relationships with Goodyear, dealers could take advantage of the growth opportunity.
"Who would you rather be with?" he said.
"And the other question is, 'Who would we rather be with? You,' " he said. "You are the ones we want to be with, committed to winning together, now and in the future."
Mr. Kramer highlighted Goodyear's experience in recognizing and reacting to trends in the industry during the company's century-plus of doing business. He reviewed some of ways Goodyear is preparing for the FACE of the future, such as including sensors in tires and products to review electric vehicles and working closely with commercial truck fleets and government agencies in their quest to find more efficient ways to operate.
He emphasized Goodyear's branding and its commitment to interactive engagement with consumers. Goodyear has driven more than 100,000 appointments to Goodyear-aligned customers in the past year, he said.
Mr. Kramer said there are 35 dealers who have been with Goodyear for 50 years or more. "Our success in the future will only come through collaboration with our network of dealers," he said. "Your expertise, passion and commitment build relationships with our customers," he said, no matter when other forms of mobility mature.