AKRON—Goodyear has removed Ohio from consideration for its next tire plant, citing logistics, labor costs and access to a deep-sea port as reasons for the decision.
In a Sept. 2 letter to Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Summit County Executive Russ Pry, the tire maker noted that its analysis shows that building a plant in Ohio would add more than $50 million a year in costs compared with other locations.
“Goodyear is operating in an increasingly competitive global industry,” the firm said. “Our competitors are taking steps to capture the growth in demand for premium tires in North and Latin America we expect over the next decade. It is absolutely critical, therefore, that Goodyear is positioned to provide our customers the right tire, at the right time and at the right price.”
In the letter, Goodyear said its site selection committee expects to make a final decision on a location in early 2015.
Goodyear's global headquarters, largest Innovation Center and its North American business headquarters all are based in Akron, and the company employs 3,000 in the state.
“While this is obviously not the decision that anyone in Northeast Ohio had hoped for—and I am personally disappointed—I understand Goodyear's business rationale,” Pry said in a City of Akron press release. “Keeping Goodyear's headquarters operation strong and viable in this community is important to our overall economy.”
The tire maker said it will include Ohio in considerations for other opportunities to grow its business going forward.
“I appreciate Goodyear's willingness to consider our joint efforts to land this major investment and further appreciate the continuing relationship between Summit County, the State of Ohio, the Greater Akron Chamber and everyone who tried to make this happen,” Plusquellic said. “We will continue to communicate with Goodyear to take advantage of every opportunity to add jobs in Akron.”