AKRON (Sept. 15, 2009)—Innovation is the key to success in a recession and one that Goodyear believes is critical, Goodyear Chairman and CEO Robert Keegan told attendees of the Tire Society meeting in Akron today.
Delivering the keynote address for the gathering of tire and rubber engineers and scientists, Keegan said the tire industry tends to search for as much certainty as possible, but innovation doesn't usually come with certainty.
“It's pretty easy to withhold support and patience for projects that might yield a great result or products that could change the industry,” Keegan said. “We all love an innovation until the time comes to place the bet. In our industry, that aversion to accepting the innovative approach certainly will not lead to success.”
Keegan noted the Goodyear's Assurance Fuel Max tire was developed and introduced over a year's time, and the company is on track to sell 1 million units “faster than any other consumer tire in our history.”
To do that “in the worst economy in 70 years is the best example of innovating to prosperà,” he said.