Advancing its connected-business model, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has announced plans to create a new facility in Luxembourg that utilizes an innovative production process to meet growing customer and consumer demand for premium tires.
Named Mercury, the proprietary process features highly automated, interconnected workstations, using additive manufacturing technologies to efficiently produce premium tires in small-batch quantities on-demand for replacement and OE customers.
Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO and president, announced Mercury and the company’s plans at the groundbreaking event for the facility located in Luxembourg.
“Mercury addresses the increasing complexity in the tire industry as the number of vehicle models and options available to consumers continues to proliferate,” said Kramer. “It gives us the capability to increase our speed and flexibility to meet the growing demand for small volumes of high-margin, premium Goodyear tires and to deliver them to customers on demand, faster than ever.”
“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 center and tire proving grounds. The company is investing $77 million in the facility, which will produce approximately 500,000 tires annually and create approximately 70 new, full-time positions.
The technology used in the Mercury production process was developed and tested over the past five years at Goodyear’s innovation and development centers. The name Mercury 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.