DETROIT—Goodyear expects the European market, especially the tire aftermarket, to be a key component of its financial success, company's chief financial officer said a conference in Detroit.
The tire maker has achieved a turnaround during the past eight years, improving consistently with the exception of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, said Darren Wells, executive vice president and CEO of Goodyear, in a speech at the 2013 Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference Jan. 15.
"I think the fundamental years, 2011 and 2012, particularly in 2012, through a pretty tough economic environment, we've actually delivered very consistent performance," he said.
"While the volume environment isn't exactly where we'd like it to be, ultimately there's some good news there because if we're able to deliver good results, consistent results, through what had been clearly tough volumes in a lot of markets, it provides us with some up side as the markets recover."
Wells said that although the company' North American business proved to be the most challenging area to improve, it is expected to exceed targeted earnings one year ahead of plan.
He said Goodyear long had a goal for North America to get to 5-percent return on sales, but two years ago set a target that by 2013 it would achieve $450 million in operating earnings.
"We're going to get to that target in 2012, rather than 2013, and we feel great about that. And that's in a pretty soft tire market in North America," Wells said.
However, the European market, especially the European aftermarket, has been a tough environment and Goodyear aims for improvement there, where it has struggled.
"For us to get to our financial goals, it's clear that we've got to see some recovery in our European business. And part of that may be volume, but part of that may be things we can do to improve the business there," Wells said