In a move to improve the profitability of its U.S. retail operations, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today said it plans to exit 92 underperforming locations by the end of the year. “Following a rigorous review of operating performance and local market dynamics, these company-owned outlets are not producing acceptable returns,” said Scott Vogel, vice president, retail operations, North American Tire. “Taking this action now will allow us to focus our attention on locations with the best long-term potential,” he said. “It will help position Goodyear to be a stronger competitor.” Vogel said the company is not announcing the store locations impacted due to its desire to first communicate with their approximately 500 full-time and 100 part-time associates as well as property owners of leased facilities. The action will result in after-tax charges of approximately US$30 million, of which $15 million will be recorded in the third quarter of 2008.