AKRON—Goodyear executives are optimistic about the future of the industry and the future of its brand.
"We're not just going to go into the future. We're going to grow into the future," Phillip Kane, vice president for commercial tires in North America, said during the 2014 Goodyear Dealer conference in Nashville, Tenn.
He said in an interview that in the commercial business, the company is looking for "a return to strengthen the replacement market" in 2014, "which will allow our replacement dealers some room to grow themselves."
Steve McClellan, Goodyear North America president, added that when you think about the Great Recession and the years that followed, it has just been OK.
"There's been no big snap back in the general economy or in the tire business," he said.
McClellan said all the signs are out there for a rebound, including an increase in miles driven.
"It's not if, it's just kind of when is it going to happen. We wouldn't necessarily say we're predicting you're going to see the Big Bang in "14, but it's sooner rather than later ... but it's just not there yet," he said.
Jack Winterton, president for consumer tires in North America, expressed a similar sentiment. He said the stabilization of fuel prices has miles driven going in a positive direction. He said Goodyear feels good entering 2014, but he does not think anybody is going to predict it's all going to hit at one time.