Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company plans a new factory in Luxembourg which uses a new production process to make premium tyres.
Named Mercury, the proprietary process features highly automated, interconnected workstations, using additive manufacturing technology to efficiently produce premium tyres in small batch quantities on demand for replacement and original equipment customers.
Goodyear Chairman, CEO and president Richard Kramer announced Mercury and the company's plans at a groundbreaking event.
"Mercury addresses the increasing complexity in the tyre 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 tyres 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 online and at retail. It will complement our existing high volume facilities and give us a true competitive advantage."
The new factory, set to open in 2019, is close to Goodyear's Luxembourg innovation centre and tyre proving grounds. The company is spending US$77m to produce 500,000 tyres annually and create 70 new, full time jobs.
The technology used in the Mercury production process was developed and tested over the past five years at the supplier'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 Seiberling.