NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The mobility ecosystem of tomorrow may not resemble anything like the highways of today.
The vehicle may look completely different than the one that sits in your garage. It probably not only will communicate with other cars on the road but also with the infrastructure it uses, the service shops that will repair it and the individuals who program it. And there's a great chance it will be powered electrically, making the combustion engine obsolete.
But, according to Goodyear Chairman, President and CEO Rich Kramer, there is one common thread between the cars of today and the vehicles of tomorrow: Tires.
With forecasters predicting that vehicle miles traveled globally will double to 20 trillion miles by 2030, demand for tires only will increase.
"Here's your headline: We believe that these trends have the potential to launch a brand new wave of growth in the tire industry," Mr. Kramer told a group of 2,000 attendees at the 2018 Goodyear Customer Conference, including 1,550 dealers. The event was held Jan. 25-27 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.
"As electric autonomous fleets become more accepted, and beyond that, more preferred, their usage is going to dramatically increase," he said.
Mr. Kramer said the 10 trillion miles traveled around the globe translates roughly to 1.5 billion tires sold annually. It stands to reason that if the number of miles traveled globally doubles, so will tire consumption — to 3 billion.
"Think about our share of that incremental growth," Mr. Kramer said. "That's a different way to think about our business."
Of course, nobody knows with certainty what might happen, but, Mr. Kramer said, there's no doubt that mobility will undergo a dramatic shift in the future.