AKRON, OH — Goodyear Tire & Rubber said it currently has several new proprietary synthetic rubber products in development that could reduce the company’s dependence on natural rubber by as much as 15 percent over the next few years.
“We’ve been working on these polymers for some time,” said Joseph Gingo, Goodyear executive vice president for quality systems and chief technical officer, “but recent natural rubber price volatility, that has shown no signs of subsiding soon, created a sense of urgency for our research and development people.”
According to Gingo, in addition to the cost impact, the new developments will allow the company to use more synthetic rubber in truck tires while maintaining or exceeding product quality expectations.
The last two years have seen world natural rubber prices climb steadily as demand has increased. Most industry observers expect the prices to continue upward through 2004.
“After just going through a very difficult economic period as an industry, we felt at Goodyear that we could ill afford to sit back and hope that relief in the form of lower natural rubber prices would come along,” said Goodyear’s Gary Miller, vice president and chief procurement officer.
For more information, go to Goodyear’s web site: www.goodyear.com.
Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.