The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today announced the planned closure of its tire manufacturing facility in Tyler, Texas, as part of its strategy to exit certain segments of the private label tire business. At the time of its June private label announcement, Goodyear said that the decision would require a corresponding reduction in North American Tire’s manufacturing capacity and that plant performance, capabilities, cost savings opportunity and the focus on serving NAT customers would dictate capacity reduction. “We must take the steps necessary to reduce our costs and improve our competitive position,” said Jon Rich, president, North American Tire. “While this is an extremely difficult decision for everyone involved, it was required to help turn around our North American business.” Goodyear previously announced to investors an aggressive strategy to reduce costs by more than $1 billion by 2008, including reduction in high-cost tire manufacturing capacity. The Tyler plant principally produces small diameter passenger tires, a segment that has been under considerable pressure from low cost imports. The action is expected to eliminate about 1,100 positions. Opened in 1962, the plant has produced approximately 25,000 passenger and light truck tires per day.