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Corner Office

Goodyear CEO on the automotive industry and trade

Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios Jan 23, 2019
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Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace

Transportation, as we know it, is changing. There’s ride-sharing, electric cars, and soon, driverless vehicles. One of the things they all have in common, however, are tires.

“Tires are some of the most important things that you have on your car for safety reasons,” said Rich Kramer, the chairman and CEO of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Kramer discussed what the automotive industry is like when navigating through a weakening U.S. manufacturing economy heading into 2019. While Kramer is optimistic about Goodyear’s future, but acknowledges that they are currently facing some economic headwinds, like the U.S. trade war.

“Right now we have cyclicality in our business and we’re very used to that, particularly in heavy industry or in a company like ours that deals with the automotive industry,” Kramer said. “But you know what? That’s really OK, we know how to handle those things as we think about the volatility that hits us. But today, I would say, on a more macro way it’s really difficult to predict with clarity where the markets are headed. And that’s largely because of the macro environment that we’re all reading about whether it’s Brexit or the U.S. trade situation — U.S. China trade situation.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview.

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