The Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company has said it is “disappointed” at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ (S&P) decision to place its credit ratings on credit watch with negative implications as part of a broader action that included 14 auto industry-related firms.

“We’re disappointed in Standard & Poor’s action. There are fundamental differences between our business and the companies whose businesses are heavily tied to the Michigan-based auto manufacturers,” said CFO Darren Wells.

“Of approximately US$20bn in total sales in 2007, less than 8% was with the global operations of the three Michigan-based automakers. This number will be lower given weak OE volumes in 2008. Our OE customers are important to us, but more than 80% of our sales are to the replacement market for consumers who already have vehicles.”

Wells said the near-term impact of financial challenges among the Michigan-based automakers is not expected to affect Goodyear’s liquidity.