ERJ staff report (TB)
Akron. Ohio -- A Goodyear executive said the company is â€œdisappointedâ€ that Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) decided to place the tyre maker's credit rating on CreditWatch with negative implications.
The S&P's decision was part of a broader action that included putting 14 auto industry-related firms on CreditWatch.
â€œWe're disappointed in Standard & Poor's action,â€ said Darren Wells, Goodyear's executive vice president and chief financial officer. â€œThere are fundamental differences between our business and the companies whose businesses are heavily tied to the Michigan-based auto manufacturers.â€
Of some $20 billion Goodyear had in total sales in 2007, he continued, less than 8 percent was with the global operations of the three Michigan-based auto makers-General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler L.L.C. â€œThis number will be lower given weak OE volumes in 2008. Our OE customers are important to us, but more than 80 percent of our sales are to the replacement market for consumers who already have vehicles.â€
Mr. Wells said the near-term impact of financial challenges among the Michigan-based car makers is not expected to be material to Akron-based Goodyear's liquidity.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)