Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. said Thursday it has been required by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. of the United States to dissolve their tire business alliance in Japan, the United States and Europe, apparently because the main arena for tire sales has shifted to emerging economies.
“We are ready to negotiate for the dissolution of the alliance if Goodyear strongly hopes so,” Sumitomo Rubber President Ikuji Ikeda said at a press conference in Tokyo.
Goodyear filed an appeal for arbitration with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce last month to decide on conditions and other details for dissolving the alliance. Industry officials say it may take several years for the chamber to arbitrate.
Under their capital and business alliance formed in 1999, Goodyear takes a 75 percent stake in a joint venture for tire production and sales in North America and Europe, while Sumitomo Rubber takes a 75 percent stake in another joint venture for tire sales in Japan. Goodyear has also been calling for dissolving the ventures, according to Sumitomo Rubber..