February 18, 2009

Goodyear to lay off 5,000

Goodyear Tire & Rubber said it would lay off nearly 5,000 workers Tuesday and freeze salaries amid a sharp downturn in U.S. automobile sales.

The company plans to launch 50 new tires globally in 2009, but Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Keegan cited lower industry demand, in a statement announcing the layoffs.

We are taking aggressive action, reducing tire production, cutting costs and adjusting investments to better match market conditions, Keegan said.

Goodyear said sales hit $19.5 billion in 2008, less than 1 percent below the company's 2007 record of $19.6 billion. Fourth quarter sales, however, fell to $4.1 billion compared to $5.2 billion in 2007, the company said.