Tyre makers may take cue from Goodyear's job cuts - producer

20 February 2009 02:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co may have set off a trend among its peers in resorting to layoffs and other belt-tightening measures after posting fourth quarter losses amid the slump in the global automotive industry, said a styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) producer on Thursday.

The decline in tyre demand from the new car and replacement tyre sectors – the chief demand drivers of SBR – was likely to drive other tyre producers in North America, Latin America and in Europe to take similar steps, the producer said.

Goodyear had announced on Wednesday to cut about 5,000 of its workforce to save on costs and shore up its profitability amid the economic slump.

The company swung into losses of $330m (€264/tonne) in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with an income of $52m in the same period a year earlier.

Goodyear also plans to eliminate from 15m to 25m units of additional manufacturing capacity around the globe.

February contract prices for 1502 non-oil grade and 1712 oil extended grade SBR are 88-93 cents/lb ($1,940-2,050/tonne or €1,552-1,640/tonne) and 80-86 cents/lb, respectively, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

SBR producers include Goodyear, International Specialty Products (ISP), Lion Copolymer and Negromex.

($1 = €0.80)

For more on SBR or BD,  visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Gene Lockard
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