Despite a highly volatile economic environment in Europe, Goodyear's manufacturing operations remained productive in the third quarter.
"During the fourth quarter, we plan to reduce production by approximately 10 days (or about 1.5 million units) at most of our European factories to address softer demand and prevent buildup of excess inventory," Wells said. "In response to the energy crisis in Europe, we have also taken action (including) conservation and energy efficiency projects that not only will have a positive impact on consumption in the near term, but also will support our sustainability efforts in the longer term.
"In addition, we have prepared our European factories for the use of alternate fuel sources to ensure consistent supply to our customers going forward."
Capital expenditures were revised during the third quarter and now are expected to total $1 billion to $1.1 billion in the coming year.
"While capital expenditures are well below original expectations for the year, reflecting difficulty obtaining equipment (including semiconductor shortages) along with our work to better match project timing with expected market conditions, we continue to have a number of ongoing and planned modernization and expansion projects that will significantly improve the competitiveness of our footprint," Kramer said.
But the uncertainty in Europe remains the biggest concern for Goodyear executives moving forward.
"We will go through further pressure in the fourth quarter, and a big piece of that is the energy cost in Europe," Wells said. "I am hoping it will be somewhat seasonal (in its impact) and that once we get through the winter things will moderate a bit."
Wells added he believes the industry "has peaked" on ocean freight costs and that they, along with inland freight, will "start to come back down halfway through next year."
"On these non-traditional inflation costs we should start to see recovery," he said. "For all of these reasons I am pretty optimistic—for the industry and for our ability to recover some of our margins."
Kramer noted that OE fitments for EVs have been a success for the company and should continue to be.
"We have had continued success winning OE fitments," the Goodyear CEO said. "Part of our ability to go to OEs and help them solve the most complex of their problems—around range, performance, handling and around sound—has been a success.
"Our team has continued to deliver with solutions with very different specs to meet. The pull is very high relative to the vehicles that we are on, and from a geographic basis it is very balanced. We've had big wins in China, and I'll leave those big names off for the moment, but we are really looking to lock in supply partnerships around EV fitments.
"Overall, we are on pace. Our profitability is exactly where we want it and I am feeling really good about that."
Kramer added that price/mix is "good to talk about" and can help weather the inflationary storm, but that Goodyear "is focused on cost as well."
"We've seen these environments multiple times, certainly in the last couple years, that have put us to the test again," he said. "If someone would have said we would get over $2 billion of price/mix at the beginning of year no one would have believed us.
"We know we have potential headwinds as we work through Europe. We are getting value from the market, but cost structure is important. We need to make sure we use it as an opportunity to set us up for the future."