AKRON (Nov. 5, 2009)—Goodyear has decided to drop the Republic associate brand from its lineup Jan. 1 as part of a larger strategy to expand distribution of the Kelly brand to its full dealer network, creating a “multi-brand package” with its Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tire lines.
“This change consolidates our brand offerings for one thing and drives it toward a multi-brand product portfolio going forward,” said a spokesman for the Akron-based tire maker.
The Kelly brand previously had limited distribution mostly to Kelly dealers, according to the spokesman, but under the new strategy the brand will benefit from more exposure and updated product offerings. For Goodyear, eliminating the Republic brand also will help to enhance the company's manufacturing capabilities.
“There's a need to reduce manufacturing complexity, which will improve supply, and those are things that are important to our customers,” the spokesman said.
In addition, Goodyear is evaluating its Remington private brand, which it also is considering for deactivation. The spokesman said the firm has been communicating with its Remington customers on the decision.
In 2006, Goodyear reduced its private brand production by about a third, dropping 10 brands representing about $300 million in annual sales and resulting in capacity reduction of about 8 million units. The spokesman did not disclose the Republic brand's sales or what portion they represent in Goodyear's total annual sales.