Goodyear to create single Americas business unit

Goodyear to create single Americas business unit

The tire maker plans to combine its North America and Latin America operations into a single unit on Jan. 1.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plans to combine its North America and Latin America businesses into one Americas business unit, effective January 1 next year, which will be led by Stephen McClellan, currently president of Goodyear's North America business.

Marcelo Toscani, currently VP of global manufacturing for the tire maker, will serve as president of the company's Latin America operations and report to McClellan, Goodyear added.

"While the two former regions approach their markets differently, there also are many increasing similarities, especially the growth of high-value-added tires," noted Richard Kramer, Goodyear’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. "This new organization is structured to accelerate growth and maximize earnings over time through simplicity, speed, and an intense focus on our customers and markets."

He added that all manufacturing plants in the soon-to-be-combined region – including the new Americas plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, scheduled to open in 2017 – will be leveraged to serve all customers in Mexico, Latin America and North America.

Kramer also noted that this new corporate structure will give Goodyear greater flexibility to anticipate market changes and react faster to them.

"We believe that combining our North America and Latin America operations into a single business unit will allow us to become a better partner and supplier to customers and consumers," he said.

"We are excited about the opportunities to operate more efficiently and better manage the increasing complexity of the tire industry,” Kramer pointed out. “This will enhance our ability to deliver more of our high-value-added tires to the customers and consumers who are demanding them most."

Goodyear – which employs approximately 66,000 and operates 49 manufacturing facilities in 22 countries around the world – added that Jean-Claude Kihn will be president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa business. Currently the president of Goodyear's Latin America business, Kihn will assume his new role January 1, succeeding Darren Wells, who will leave the company in early 2016.

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