Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer, discussing flat sales volume last year and a projected 2 percent unit decline in 2012, was asked in an analyst call Friday about the prospects for increasing earnings in a flat-volume environment. He said he expects unit sales to recover eventually.
QUESTION: In a period of sluggish sales, what will drive earnings growth?
ANSWER (CEO Kramer): Ultimately the volume that we see today will get better. Now, the exact timing of that obviously is a little bit hard to predict. But as we looked at where we were, say, pre-recession, there was sort of a sentiment that volume was going to go up and it wasn't going to decrease any more. Now we're in a situation where certainly volume is moderated because of the Great Recession. But I would tell you, we will get back to higher levels than we are today.