AURORA, Colo.—History can serve as a pathway to the future, Rich Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO and president, told tire dealers during his annual keynote address at the Goodyear Customer Conference.
More than 1,400 dealers and their guests—as well as another 800 Goodyear associates and exhibitors—attended the four-day event, which concludes Feb. 5 at the Gaylord Rockies Convention Center. The theme of this year's conference is Built to Lead.
Kramer identified three key "Ps" for the company and its customers to succeed in what he calls a "new mobility ecosystem":
- Partnership; and
Those three elements, he said, will help ease the transition from current automobiles to what the company calls the new FACE of the industry: Fleets; Autonomous vehicles; Connectivity; and Electric vehicles.
"Having a plan answers two questions," Kramer said. "What problem are we solving? And how do we go about solving it?"
Kramer discussed Goodyear's beginnings, and used the history of the automobile of an example of how difficult it is to embrace rapid change, especially the kind of change today's auto industry is experiencing as it pushes toward a new mobility landscape. When the automobile was first introduced, Kramer said, people threw rocks at it because they preferred the traditional horse and buggy.
But times changed, the industry evolved and the technology was embraced.