Could the slumping world economy force even Goodyear to reconsider its commitment to NASCAR?
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has been closely associated with NASCAR for more than 50 years. In February 2007, NASCAR and the Akron, Ohio-based company announced that Goodyear would continue as the sport's exclusive tire supplier at least through 2012 -- insert your own Tony Stewart joke here.
It's arguably unreasonable to think Goodyear should curtail its association with NASCAR in light of the overall economy and the recent announcement that it is laying off 5,000 workers -- even I understand the inherent value of the company's relationship to this country's number one motorsport. Nevertheless, and if, as some in the industry fear, the auto sector has entered a prolonged period of seriously depressed sales, Goodyear is likley to endure an even more pronounced slump than the one it finds itself in now.
If and when the dust settles and fewer and fewer tires are being sold and less and less profits are being generated, any and all expenditures not directly associated with producing the best tire for the lowest cost will be scrutinized. It stands to reason that Goodyear's association with NASCAR could be one of the line items that the bean counters in Akron choose to focus on.
Insert your own Tony Stewart joke here ...