Advancing its connected-business model, The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company will create a new facility in Europe that utilizes an innovative production process to meet growing customer and consumer demand for premium tyres.
Named Mercury, the proprietary process features highly-automated, interconnected workstations, using additive manufacturing technologies to efficiently produce premium tyres in small-batch quantities on-demand for replacement and original equipment customers.
Announcing Mercury, Goodyear Chairman, CEO & President, Richard J. Kramer, said the facility, to be located in Luxembourg, addresses the increasing complexity in the tyre industry as the number of vehicle models and options available to consumers continues to proliferate. “It gives us the capability to increase our speed and flexibility to meet the growing demand for small volumes of high-margin, premium Goodyear tyres and to deliver them to customers on demand, faster than ever,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony recently.
“Mercury will advance our connected business model, which aligns all of our assets – from the production floor to consumers who choose Goodyear online and at retail,” he added. “It will complement our existing high-volume facilities and give us a true competitive advantage.”
The new facility, set to open in 2019, is in close proximity to Goodyear’s Luxembourg Innovation Centre and tyre proving grounds. The company is investing US$77 million (about RM323 million) in the facility, which will produce approximately 500,000 tyres annually and create approximately 70 new, full-time positions.
The technology used in the Mercury production process was developed and tested over the past 5 years at Goodyear’s innovation and development centres. The name is a reference to the mythical god of trade and travel, which inspired the creation of Goodyear’s winged foot logo by company founder Frank A. Seiberling in August 1900.