Goodyear’s says it first quarter 2019 sales were US$3.6bn, down 6% from $3.8bn a year ago, driven by unfavourable currency translation and lower volume in its international businesses, partially offset by improvements in price/mix. It was also tipped into loss in Q1.

“We gained momentum in the US during the quarter, as our consumer and commercial replacement businesses both grew share, while increasing the value we capture in the marketplace,” said Richard Kramer, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “In addition, we took steps to increase our long-term competitiveness. The plans we announced to modernise our Hanau and Fulda manufacturing facilities in Germany will improve our supply of cost-effective premium tyres in Europe, helping us achieve our goal of having the right tyre, at the right place, at the right time, at the right cost,” added Kramer.

Tyre unit volumes totalled 38.0m, down 3% from 39.0m in the year ago quarter. Original equipment unit volume declined 7%, primarily reflecting weaker US volumes and lower automotive production in China and India. Replacement tyre shipments were down less than 1% compared with a year ago.

Goodyear’s net loss was $61m in the first quarter of 2019 (26 cents per share) compared to net income of $75m (31 cents per share) in the year-ago quarter. The first quarter of 2019 included several significant items, most notably $93m in charges related to the previously announced plan to modernise two tyre manufacturing facilities in Germany. First quarter 2019 adjusted net income was $45m (19 cents per share) compared to $122m (50 cents per share) in 2018. Per share amounts are diluted.

The company reported first quarter segment operating income of $190m in 2019, down from $281m a year ago. The decrease reflects higher raw material costs, lower volume, unfavourable foreign currency translation, and weaker results from other tyre-related businesses, partially offset by favourable price/mix, improved overhead absorption and net cost savings.