Tiremaker Challenges Suppliers to Aid Innovation - Tire Review Magazine

Tiremaker Challenges Suppliers to Aid Innovation

Goodyear is calling on all of its key suppliers to help the tiremaker innovate and reach mutual success.

Dozens of suppliers recently met at Goodyear’s Akron headquarters to hear presentations on current trends in the automobile and tire markets, and how those trends “will challenge the tire maker’s research and development organization,” according top Goodyear.
“We described the technologies we need to be successful in the future – to drive relevant innovation into our new product engine.  Our message to them was simple: our goal is innovation leadership,” said Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear chief technology officer. “We can try to achieve it separately, or we can succeed as a team, multiplying the shared benefit of our combined R&D efforts.”

Kihn said the new initiative “allows Goodyear to also tap into its close working relationships with their suppliers to encourage joint technology development that will help the tiremaker bring ‘game changing’ products to market at an even faster pace.”

Among the 30-plus companies participating in the April global supplier summit were DuPont, Sumitomo Chemical, ExxonMobil, Bekaert, Kemai and Rhodia.

Since the meetings, Goodyear said, suppliers proposed nearly 200 initiatives in the areas of acquisition cost, materials management, conversion cost and new product development “that can have a direct, positive impact on Goodyear’s product innovations.  These initiatives will serve to enhance Goodyear’s overall R&D expenditures, but more importantly, they will significantly enhance the company’s supply chain.”

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