AKRON (April 7)—Goodyear will make Slovenia's Sava Tires d.o.o. a wholly owned subsidiary this year, spending about $52 million to buy the 20-percent share it doesn't own.
Goodyear said the move, expected to be completed in June, will consolidate its sourcing capabilities in low-cost countries and strengthen its position in the expanding central and eastern European market.
The Akron company is exercising its call option to purchase the 20 percent of Sava Tires owned by Slovenia's Sava d.d. Goodyear acquired its original 60-percent stake in 1997 and increased it to 80 percent in 2002, paying $38.5 million at that time for the added stake.
Kranj, Slovenia-based Sava Tires made more than 7 million tires for cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles in 2003. It exported more than 80 percent of its production.
Goodyear expects its European-based tire businesses to make more than 84 million tires this year, with about 40 percent coming from low-cost facilities in Slovenia, Poland and Turkey.