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Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF

THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

Commission File Number: 1-1927

 

THE GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Ohio

 

34-0253240

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

200 Innovation Way, Akron, Ohio

 

44316-0001

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (330796-2121

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, Without Par Value

 

GT

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

 

 

 

None

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large Accelerated Filer

 

Accelerated Filer

 

Non-accelerated Filer

 

 

Smaller Reporting Company

 

Emerging Growth Company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.   

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by nonaffiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the last sales price of such common stock as of the closing of trading on June 30, 2020, was approximately $2.1 billion.

 

Shares of Common Stock, Without Par Value, outstanding at January 31, 2021:

 

 

 

233,220,098

 

 

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:

Portions of the Company’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 12, 2021 are incorporated by reference in Part III.

 



Table of Contents

 

THE GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY

Annual Report on Form 10-K

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020

Table of Contents

 

Item Number

 

Page Number

 

PART I

 

1

Business

1

1A

Risk Factors

10

1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

19

2

Properties

20

3

Legal Proceedings

21

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

5

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

22

6

Selected Financial Data

23

7

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

24

7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

53

8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

55

9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

119

9A

Controls and Procedures

119

9B

Other Information

119

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

10

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

120

11

Executive Compensation

120

12

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

120

13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

120

14

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

120

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

15

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

121

16

Form 10-K Summary

121

Index to Financial Statement Schedules

FS-1

Index of Exhibits

X-1

Signatures

 

S-1

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

PART I.

ITEM 1.    BUSINESS.

BUSINESS OF GOODYEAR

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (the “Company”) is an Ohio corporation organized in 1898. Its principal offices are located at 200 Innovation Way, Akron, Ohio 44316-0001. Its telephone number is (330) 796-2121. The terms “Goodyear,” “Company” and “we,” “us” or “our” wherever used herein refer to the Company together with all of its consolidated U.S. and foreign subsidiary companies, unless the context indicates to the contrary.

We are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tires, engaging in operations in most regions of the world. In 2020, our net sales were $12,321 million and Goodyear’s net loss was $1,254 million. We develop, manufacture, market and distribute tires for most applications. We also manufacture and market rubber-related chemicals for various applications. We are one of the world’s largest operators of commercial truck service and tire retreading centers. We operate approximately 1,000 retail outlets where we offer our products for sale to consumer and commercial customers and provide repair and other services. We manufacture our products in 46 manufacturing facilities in 21 countries, including the United States, and we have marketing operations in almost every country around the world. We employ approximately 62,000 full-time and temporary associates worldwide.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

We make available free of charge on our website, http://www.goodyear.com, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we file or furnish such reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in or considered to be a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

DESCRIPTION OF GOODYEAR’S BUSINESS

GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING OUR SEGMENTS

For the year ended December 31, 2020, we operated our business through three operating segments representing our regional tire businesses: Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”); and Asia Pacific.

Our principal business is the development, manufacture, distribution and sale of tires and related products and services worldwide. We manufacture and market numerous lines of rubber tires for:

 

automobiles

 

trucks

 

buses

 

aircraft

 

motorcycles

 

earthmoving and mining equipment

 

farm implements

 

industrial equipment, and

 

various other applications.

In each case, our tires are offered for sale to vehicle manufacturers for mounting as original equipment (“OE”) and for replacement worldwide. We manufacture and sell tires under the Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, Debica, Sava and Fulda brands and various other Goodyear owned “house” brands, and the private-label brands of certain customers. In certain geographic areas we also:

 

retread truck, aviation and off-the-road ("OTR") tires,

 

manufacture and sell tread rubber and other tire retreading materials,

 

sell chemical products, and/or

 

provide automotive and commercial repair services and miscellaneous other products and services.

Our principal products are new tires for most applications. Approximately 84% of our sales in 2020, 85% in 2019 and 84% in 2018 were for tire units. Sales of chemical products to unaffiliated customers were 3% in 2020, 3% in 2019 and 4% in 2018

1


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of our consolidated sales (5%, 5% and 7% of Americas total sales in 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively). The percentages of each segment’s sales attributable to tire units during the periods indicated were:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Tire Unit Sales

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Americas

 

 

78

%

 

 

80

%

 

 

78

%

Europe, Middle East and Africa

 

 

90

 

 

 

91

 

 

 

92

 

Asia Pacific

 

 

91

 

 

 

91

 

 

 

91

 

 

Each segment exports tires to other segments. The financial results of each segment exclude sales of tires exported to other segments, but include operating income derived from such transactions.

Goodyear does not include motorcycle, aviation or race tires in reported tire unit sales.

Tire unit sales for each segment during the periods indicated were:

GOODYEAR’S ANNUAL TIRE UNIT SALES — SEGMENT

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(In millions of tires)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Americas

 

 

56.7

 

 

 

70.4

 

 

 

70.9

 

Europe, Middle East and Africa

 

 

44.5

 

 

 

55.1

 

 

 

57.8

 

Asia Pacific

 

 

24.8

 

 

 

29.8

 

 

 

30.5

 

Goodyear worldwide tire units

 

 

126.0

 

 

 

155.3

 

 

 

159.2

 

 

Our replacement and OE tire unit sales during the periods indicated were:

GOODYEAR’S ANNUAL TIRE UNIT SALES — REPLACEMENT AND OE

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(In millions of tires)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Replacement tire units

 

 

95.0

 

 

 

115.0

 

 

 

115.1

 

OE tire units

 

 

31.0

 

 

 

40.3

 

 

 

44.1

 

Goodyear worldwide tire units

 

 

126.0

 

 

 

155.3

 

 

 

159.2

 

 

New tires are sold under highly competitive conditions throughout the world. On a worldwide basis, we have two major competitors: Bridgestone (based in Japan) and Michelin (based in France). Other significant competitors include Continental, Cooper, Hankook, Kumho, Nexen, Pirelli, Sumitomo, Toyo, Yokohama and various regional tire manufacturers.

We compete with other tire manufacturers on the basis of product design, performance, price and terms, reputation, warranty terms, customer service and consumer convenience. Goodyear and Dunlop branded tires enjoy a high recognition factor and have a reputation for performance and product design. The Kelly, Debica, Sava and Fulda brands and various house brand tire lines offered by us, and tires manufactured and sold by us to private brand customers, compete primarily on the basis of value and price.

We do not consider our tire businesses to be seasonal to any significant degree.

AMERICAS

Americas, our largest segment in terms of revenue, develops, manufactures, distributes and sells tires and related products and services in North, Central and South America, and sells tires to various export markets, primarily through intersegment sales. Americas manufactures tires in five plants in the United States, two plants in Canada and five plants in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Americas manufactures and sells tires for automobiles, trucks, buses, earthmoving, mining and industrial equipment, aircraft, and various other applications.

Goodyear brand radial passenger tire lines sold throughout Americas include the Assurance family of product lines for the premium and mid-tier passenger and cross-over utility segments; the Eagle and EfficientGrip Performance families of product lines for the high-performance segment; the Wrangler family of product lines for the sport utility vehicle and light truck segments; as well as the WinterCommand and Ultra Grip family of winter tires.  Additionally, we offer Dunlop brand radial

2


Table of Contents

 

tire lines including Signature and SP Sport for the passenger and performance segments; Grandtrek tire lines for the cross-over and sport utility vehicle and light truck segments; and SP Winter, Winter Maxx and Grandtrek tire lines for the winter tire segment. Americas also manufactures and sells several lines of Kelly brand radial tires for passenger cars and light trucks including the Kelly Edge A/S, Edge HP and Edge AT.  Our Americas commercial business provides commercial truck tires, retreads, services and business solutions to trucking fleets.  Americas also:

 

manufactures tread rubber and other tire retreading materials for trucks, heavy equipment and aviation,

 

retreads truck, aviation and OTR tires, primarily as a service to its commercial customers,

 

sells products and installation services online through our websites, www.goodyear.com for consumer tires and www.goodyeartrucktires.com for commercial tires,

 

provides automotive maintenance and repair services at approximately 570 Company-owned retail outlets primarily under the Goodyear or Just Tires names,

 

provides trucking fleets with new tires, retreads, mechanical service, preventative maintenance and roadside assistance from approximately 220 Company-owned locations, primarily Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Centers,

 

sells automotive repair and maintenance items, automotive equipment and accessories and other items to dealers and consumers,

 

sells chemical products and natural rubber to Goodyear’s other business segments and to unaffiliated customers, and

 

provides miscellaneous other products and services.

In 2020, Americas launched several new consumer tires under the Goodyear brand, including the Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra.  Americas commercial business launched new tires under the Goodyear FuelMax, Goodyear Endurance, Goodyear KMAX, Goodyear UrbanMax and Kelly Armorsteel lines to service our long haul, regional, mixed service and city service customers.

In 2018, we formed a 50/50 joint venture with Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (“Bridgestone”) that combined our Company-owned wholesale distribution business and Bridgestone’s tire wholesale warehouse business to create TireHub, LLC (“TireHub”), a national tire distributor in the United States.

Markets and Other Information

Tire unit sales to replacement and OE customers served by Americas during the periods indicated were:

AMERICAS UNIT SALES — REPLACEMENT AND OE

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(In millions of tires)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Replacement tire units

 

 

44.4

 

 

 

55.1

 

 

 

53.8

 

OE tire units

 

 

12.3

 

 

 

15.3

 

 

 

17.1

 

Total tire units

 

 

56.7

 

 

 

70.4

 

 

 

70.9

 

 

Americas is a major supplier of tires to most manufacturers of automobiles, trucks, buses, aircraft, and earthmoving, mining and industrial equipment that have production facilities located in the Americas.

Americas' primary competitors are Bridgestone and Michelin. Other significant competitors include Continental, Cooper, Nexen, Pirelli, and imports from other regions, primarily Asia.

The principal channel for the sale of Goodyear brand tires in Americas is a large network of independent dealers. Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly brand tires are also sold to numerous national and regional retailers, in Goodyear Company-owned stores in the United States, and through the wholesale channel, including through TireHub, our sole national wholesale tire distributor in the United States, and a network of aligned U.S. regional wholesale tire distributors.

Our products sold in the United States are subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSS”) promulgated and enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), which has established various standards and regulations applicable to tires sold in the United States and tires sold in a foreign country that are identical or substantially similar to tires sold in the United States. NHTSA has the authority to order the recall of automotive products, including tires, having a defect related to motor vehicle safety or that do not comply with a motor vehicle safety standard. In addition, the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation Act (the “TREAD Act”) imposes numerous reporting requirements with respect to the early warning reporting of warranty claims, property damage claims, and bodily injury and

3


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fatality claims. The FMVSS also require tire manufacturers to comply with rigorous tire testing standards. Compliance with these regulations has increased the cost of producing and distributing tires in the United States.

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

Europe, Middle East and Africa, our second largest segment in terms of revenue, develops, manufactures, distributes and sells tires for automobiles, trucks, buses, aircraft, motorcycles, and earthmoving, mining and industrial equipment throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa under the Goodyear, Dunlop, Debica, Sava and Fulda brands and other house brands, and sells tires to various export markets, primarily through intersegment sales. EMEA manufactures tires in thirteen plants in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa and Turkey. EMEA also:

 

sells aviation tires and manufactures and sells retreaded aviation tires,

 

provides various retreading and related services for truck and OTR tires, primarily for its commercial truck tire customers,

 

offers automotive repair services at Company-owned retail outlets, and

 

provides miscellaneous other products and services.

In 2020, EMEA launched a number of new consumer tires under the Goodyear, Dunlop, Debica, Sava and Fulda brands, including the Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance 2 for the high performance segment and the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-3 and Dunlop Sport All Season tire for the all-season segment.  EMEA also introduced a number of commercial truck tires, including line extensions of the FuelMax Gen-2 and KMAX Gen-2.  

Markets and Other Information

Tire unit sales to replacement and OE customers served by EMEA during the periods indicated were:

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA UNIT SALES — REPLACEMENT AND OE

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(In millions of tires)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Replacement tire units

 

 

34.0

 

 

 

41.5

 

 

 

42.9

 

OE tire units

 

 

10.5

 

 

 

13.6

 

 

 

14.9

 

Total tire units

 

 

44.5

 

 

 

55.1

 

 

 

57.8

 

 

EMEA is a significant supplier of tires to most vehicle manufacturers across the region.

EMEA’s primary competitors are Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, several regional and local tire producers, and imports from other regions, primarily Asia.

Goodyear and Dunlop brand tires are sold for replacement in EMEA through various channels of distribution, principally independent multi-brand tire dealers. In some areas, Goodyear brand tires, as well as Dunlop, Debica, Sava and Fulda brand tires, are distributed through independent dealers, regional distributors and retail outlets, of which approximately 80 are owned by Goodyear. In 2020, we took actions to better align our European distribution network in order to capture the full value of our products and brands in the marketplace.

Our European operations are subject to regulation by the European Union. The Tire Safety Regulation sets performance standards that tires for cars and light and commercial trucks need to meet for rolling resistance, wet grip braking (passenger car tires only) and noise in order to be sold in the European Union. The Tire Labeling Regulation applies to all passenger car, light truck and commercial truck tires and requires that consumers be informed about the tire's fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise characteristics.

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ASIA PACIFIC

Our Asia Pacific segment develops, manufactures, distributes and sells tires for automobiles, trucks, buses, aircraft, farm, and earthmoving, mining and industrial equipment throughout the Asia Pacific region, and sells tires to various export markets, primarily through intersegment sales. Asia Pacific manufactures tires in seven plants in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand. Asia Pacific also:

 

retreads truck tires and aviation tires,

 

manufactures tread rubber and other tire retreading materials for aviation tires,

 

provides automotive maintenance and repair services at Company-owned retail outlets, and

 

provides miscellaneous other products and services.

In 2020, Asia Pacific released new consumer tires under the Goodyear brand, including the Goodyear Eagle F1 Sport which builds on the 2019 launches of the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 and Eagle F1 SuperSport to complete the renewal of the Asia Pacific sport segment. Additionally, we released the EfficientGrip Performance 2 for the passenger luxury segment and, in Japan, the EfficientGrip ECO EG02 for the passenger broad market segment. Asia Pacific also launched two new commercial tires: the S800 to meet increasing mid-size urban bus requirements and the KMAX T210 to meet more demanding requirements of long haul logistics fleets.

Markets and Other Information

Tire unit sales to replacement and OE customers served by Asia Pacific during the periods indicated were:

ASIA PACIFIC UNIT SALES — REPLACEMENT AND OE

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(In millions of tires)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Replacement tire units

 

 

16.6

 

 

 

18.4

 

 

 

18.4

 

OE tire units

 

 

8.2

 

 

 

11.4

 

 

 

12.1

 

Total tire units

 

 

24.8

 

 

 

29.8

 

 

 

30.5

 

 

Asia Pacific’s major competitors are Bridgestone and Michelin along with many other global brands present in different parts of the region, including Continental, Dunlop, Hankook and a large number of regional and local tire producers.

Asia Pacific sells primarily Goodyear brand tires throughout the region and also sells the Dunlop brand in Australia and New Zealand. Other brands of tires, such as Remington, Kelly and Diamondback, are sold in smaller quantities. Tires are sold through a network of licensed and franchised retail stores and multi-brand retailers through a network of wholesale dealers as well as through an increasing number of on-line outlets. In Australia, we also operate a network of approximately 180 retail stores under the Beaurepaires brand.

GENERAL BUSINESS INFORMATION

Sources and Availability of Raw Materials

The principal raw materials used by Goodyear are synthetic and natural rubber. Synthetic rubber accounts for approximately 52% of all rubber consumed by us on an annual basis. Our plants located in Beaumont and Houston, Texas supply a major portion of our global synthetic rubber requirements. We purchase all of our requirements for natural rubber in the world market.

Other important raw materials and components we use are carbon black, steel cord, fabrics and petrochemical-based commodities. Substantially all of these raw materials and components are purchased from independent suppliers, except for certain chemicals we manufacture. We purchase most raw materials and components in significant quantities from several suppliers, except in those instances where only one or a few qualified sources are available. We anticipate the continued availability of all raw materials and components we will require during 2021, subject to spot shortages and unexpected disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and other events.

Substantial quantities of fuel and other petrochemical-based commodities are used in the production of tires, synthetic rubber and other products. Supplies of such fuels and commodities have been and are expected to continue to be available to us in quantities sufficient to satisfy our anticipated requirements, subject to spot shortages.

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Human Capital Management

At December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 62,000 full-time and temporary associates throughout the world, including approximately 36,000 associates covered under collective bargaining agreements. During 2020, our employment of full-time and temporary associates decreased by approximately 1,000 people, primarily related to the permanent closure of our Gadsden, Alabama manufacturing facility. Approximately 5,700 of our associates in the United States are covered by a master collective bargaining agreement with the United Steelworkers ("USW"), which expires in July 2022. In addition, approximately 800 of our associates in the United States are covered by other contracts with the USW and various other unions. Approximately 20,000 of our associates outside of the United States are covered by union contracts that currently have expired or that will expire in 2021, primarily in Germany, Luxembourg, China, Slovenia, France, Turkey, India and Mexico. Unions represent a major portion of our associates in the United States and Europe.

Engaging and enabling our associates to realize their full potential is one of our core strategies. This starts with attracting top diverse talent and is followed by fostering inclusion, offering opportunities for skill and career development, promoting health and wellness, providing a safe and healthy workplace, making a positive impact in our communities, and expecting our associates to know and comply with our compliance and ethics policies.

Talent Management Our associates are the driving force behind our success. They underpin every aspect of our strategy and help us deliver value to our customers, shareholders and communities. We provide integrated talent management and learning solutions aimed at enabling our associates to reach their full personal and professional potential at Goodyear. We are guided by our talent strategy which focuses on talent attraction, talent development, talent engagement and retention, as well as succession planning. An example of how we attract talent is through campus recruiting into our intern and job rotational programs utilized by several of our functional teams. We offer a number of tools for talent development including The Goodyear Learning Center, which is our in-house collection of online courses available to all associates. In our manufacturing plants, one of the pillars of our plant optimization efforts is Continuous Skills Development, which focuses on developing problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Diversity and Inclusion A diverse workforce is critical to our long-term success. Embracing and valuing differences allows us to attract top talent, improve associate satisfaction and engagement, foster innovation, and meld varying experiences and perspectives to drive enhanced customer service, business creativity and decision-making. Our goal is to create a work environment where people have a real sense of belonging and are able to thrive. Our commitment is reflected in the policies that govern our workforce, such as our Business Conduct Manual and Global Zero Tolerance policy and is evidenced in our recruiting strategies, succession planning, diversity and inclusion training and Employee Resource Groups (“ERGs”), which are key to our inclusion efforts. Our ERGs provide associates access to coaching, mentoring and professional development, and include the Goodyear Black Network, Goodyear Veterans Association, Goodyear Women’s Network, Goodyear Pride Network, HOLA (Hispanic/Latino), Next Generation Leaders and Goodyear Asia India Middle East (AIM).

Health and Wellness Our wellness initiatives take a holistic view of associate health, including physical, emotional, financial and social health, to enable our associates to thrive and bring their best selves to work each day. Goodyear strives to be at the forefront of corporate wellness, and that goal is the driver behind our “GoodLife” wellness program, which is led by our Chief Health Officer, in order to foster a culture of wellness for all Goodyear associates and their families. To meet the needs of our diverse workforce, retirees and their dependents, we offer varying robust benefits packages for our full-time and part-time associates globally.

Workforce Safety and Wellness Our vision is to have the safest operations in the world. We have established a goal of eliminating all serious injuries and fatalities in our workplace. To reduce the risk of serious injuries we invest in systems that enable us to receive reliable and structured data to enable decision making. We also work to improve our industrial hygiene to prevent work-related illness from noise and the substances used in the manufacturing process and we focus on ergonomics using a six-step problem-solving process to reduce injuries and maximize workplace performance.

Community Engagement Collaborating with community organizations energizes our associates and helps us build a better future. Our global strategy and efforts are an extension of our business and are aimed at safe mobility, inspiring students to reach their full potential and reducing our environmental impacts. We encourage our associates to participate in our Global Week of Volunteering.

Compliance and Ethics To “Act with Integrity” is a core component of our global strategy. Each associate is responsible for acting with honesty, integrity and respect every day and everywhere we do business. Our Business Conduct Manual guides our Board of Directors, executive team and all associates globally. We require our global salaried associates to complete training

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annually on our Business Conduct Manual and periodically on subjects such as competition law, anti-corruption and anti-bribery, and being a compliance leader.

Refer to "Overview Results of Operations" included in Item 7, "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for information on the human capital management actions we have taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patents and Trademarks

We own approximately 1,800 product, process and equipment patents issued by the United States Patent Office and approximately 3,600 patents issued or granted in other countries around the world. We have approximately 400 applications for United States patents pending and approximately 800 patent applications on file in other countries around the world. While such patents and patent applications as a group are important, we do not consider any patent or patent application to be of such importance that the loss or expiration thereof would materially affect Goodyear or any business segment.

We own, control or use approximately 1,500 different trademarks, including several using the word “Goodyear” or the word “Dunlop.” Approximately 8,300 registrations and 300 pending applications worldwide protect these trademarks. While such trademarks as a group are important, the only trademarks we consider material to our business, or to the business of any of our segments, are those using the word “Goodyear,” and with respect to certain of our international business segments, those using the word “Dunlop.” We believe our trademarks are valid and most are of unlimited duration as long as they are adequately protected and appropriately used.

Compliance with Government Regulations

We are subject to extensive regulation under environmental and occupational safety and health laws and regulations worldwide. These laws and regulations relate to, among other things, air emissions, discharges to surface and underground waters, the generation, handling, storage, transportation and disposal of waste materials and hazardous substances, and workplace safety and health. We have several continuing programs designed to ensure compliance with foreign, federal, state and local environmental and occupational safety and health laws and regulations. We expect capital expenditures for pollution control facilities and occupational safety and health projects to be approximately $40 million and $35 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

We also incur ongoing expenses to maintain and operate our pollution control facilities and conduct our other environmental activities, including the control and disposal of hazardous substances. These expenditures are expected to be sufficient to comply with existing environmental laws and regulations and are not expected to have a material adverse effect on our competitive position. In the future, we may incur increased costs and additional charges associated with environmental compliance and cleanup projects necessitated by the identification of new waste sites, the impact of new environmental laws and regulatory standards, or the availability of new technologies. Compliance with foreign, federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations in the future may require a material increase in our capital expenditures and could adversely affect our earnings and competitive position.

In addition, compliance with complex foreign and U.S. laws and regulations that apply to our international operations increases our cost of doing business in international jurisdictions. These numerous and sometimes conflicting laws and regulations include import and export laws, anti-competition laws, anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, and other local laws prohibiting corrupt payments to governmental officials, data privacy laws such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, tax laws, and accounting, internal control and disclosure requirements.

Refer to “Description of Goodyear’s Business – Americas” and “Description of Goodyear’s Business – Europe, Middle East and Africa” included in this Item 1, “Business” for information regarding compliance with government regulations in each of those segments.

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INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Set forth below are: (1) the names and ages of all executive officers of the Company at February 9, 2021, (2) all positions with the Company presently held by each such person, and (3) the positions held by, and principal areas of responsibility of, each such person during the last five years.

 

Name

 

Position(s) Held

 

Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Richard J. Kramer

 

Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer

and President

 

57

 

 

Mr. Kramer was elected Chief Executive Officer and President in April 2010 and Chairman in October 2010. He is the principal executive officer of the Company. Mr. Kramer joined Goodyear in 2000 and has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (June 2004 to August 2007), President, North America (March 2007 to February 2010) and Chief Operating Officer (June 2009 to April 2010).

 

 

 

 

 

      Darren R. Wells

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

 

55

 

 

Mr. Wells was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in September 2018. He is Goodyear’s principal financial officer. Mr. Wells previously served as Goodyear’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from October 2008 to November 2013. He first joined Goodyear in 2002 and has also served as President, Europe, Middle East and Africa (December 2013 to December 2015). Prior to rejoining Goodyear, Mr. Wells was an Executive in Residence and MBA Coach at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business from January 2018 to September 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

      Stephen R. McClellan

 

President, Americas

 

55

 

 

Mr. McClellan was named President, Americas in January 2016. He is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear's operations in North, Central and South America. Mr. McClellan joined Goodyear in 1988.

 

 

 

 

 

      Christopher R. Delaney

 

President, Europe, Middle East and Africa

 

59

 

 

Mr. Delaney was named President, Europe, Middle East and Africa in September 2017. He is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mr. Delaney joined Goodyear as President-Elect, Asia Pacific in August 2015, and has served as President, Asia Pacific (January 2016 to September 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

      Ryan G. Patterson

 

President, Asia Pacific

 

47

 

 

Mr. Patterson was named President, Asia Pacific in September 2017. He is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear’s operations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Western Pacific. Mr. Patterson joined Goodyear in 2002 and has served as President, North America Consumer (September 2014 to September 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Jonathan Bellissimo

 

Senior Vice President, Global Operations and Technology

 

65

 

 

Mr. Bellissimo was named Senior Vice President, Global Operations and Technology in January 2019. He is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear’s global manufacturing, supply chain, sales and operations planning, engineering and product quality activities. Mr. Bellissimo joined Goodyear in 1977 and has served as General Director of the Goodyear Innovation Center in Akron, Ohio (January 2010 to August 2016) and Vice President, Americas Product Development & Chemical (September 2016 to December 2018).

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Laura P. Duda

 

Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer

 

51

 

 

Ms. Duda was named Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer in January 2019. She is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear’s communications activities worldwide. Ms. Duda joined Goodyear as Vice President, Corporate Communications in February 2016, and has served as Vice President, Communications, Americas (July 2016 to December 2018). Prior to joining Goodyear, Ms. Duda was Vice President, Communications at Exelon Corporation, a utility services holding company, from November 2008 to January 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Name

 

Position(s) Held

 

Age

 

 

 

 

 

      Christopher P. Helsel

 

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

 

55

 

 

Mr. Helsel was named Vice President and Chief Technology Officer in September 2017 and became a Senior Vice President in February 2019. He is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear’s global research and development activities. Mr. Helsel joined Goodyear in 1996 and has served as Director, Retread (January 2013 to February 2017) and Director, North America Commercial and Global Off-Highway Technology (March 2017 to August 2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      David E. Phillips

 

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

 

45

 

 

Mr. Phillips was named Senior Vice President and General Counsel in June 2019. He is Goodyear's chief legal officer. Mr. Phillips joined Goodyear in 2011 and has served as Senior Legal Counsel (2011 to April 2016), Associate General Counsel, North America (May 2016 to August 2016) and Associate General Counsel, Americas (September 2016 to June 2019).

 

 

 

 

 

      Gary S. VanderLind

 

Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

 

58

 

 

Mr. VanderLind was named Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer in February 2019. He is the executive officer responsible for Goodyear’s global human resources activities. Mr. VanderLind joined Goodyear in 1985 and has served as Vice President, Human Resources - North America (September 2007 to August 2016) and Vice President, Human Resources - Americas (September 2016 to January 2019).

 

 

 

 

 

      Evan M. Scocos

 

Vice President and Controller

 

49

 

 

Mr. Scocos was named Vice President and Controller in June 2016. He is Goodyear's principal accounting officer. Mr. Scocos joined Goodyear in 2004 and has served as Vice President and General Auditor (March 2014 to May 2016).

 

No family relationship exists between any of the above executive officers or between the executive officers and any director of the Company.

Each executive officer is elected by the Board of Directors of the Company at its annual meeting to a term of one year or until his or her successor is duly elected. In those instances where the person is elected at other than an annual meeting, such person’s term will expire at the next annual meeting.

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ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS.

You should carefully consider the risks described below and other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K when considering an investment decision with respect to our securities. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently deem immaterial, may also impair our business operations. Any of the events discussed in the risk factors below may occur. If they do, our business, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity could be materially adversely affected. In such an instance, the trading price of our securities could decline, and you might lose all or part of your investment.

Our results of operations have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our future results of operations, financial condition and liquidity are expected to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that impact may be material.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant volatility in the global economy and led to a dramatic reduction in economic activity worldwide. International, federal, state and local public health and governmental authorities have taken extraordinary actions to contain and combat the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 throughout most regions of the world, including travel bans, quarantines, “stay-at-home” orders and similar mandates that have caused many individuals to substantially restrict their daily activities and many businesses to curtail or cease normal operations.

The tire industry has been negatively impacted by this evolving situation, particularly earlier in 2020, which was characterized by a sudden and sharp decline in replacement tire demand and original equipment manufacturers suspending or severely limiting automobile production globally. Our results have been, and are likely to continue to be, adversely impacted by this economic disruption, including lower tire volume, sales, income and cash flow. In addition, our ability to continue implementing important strategic initiatives and capital expenditures may be reduced as we devote time and other resources to

responding to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2020, we announced the suspension of production at our manufacturing facilities in Europe and the Americas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production was suspended or significantly limited at most of our manufacturing facilities around the world during parts of the first half of 2020. During the second quarter of 2020, we completed a phased restart of most of our manufacturing facilities.  Most of our factories returned to full capacity by the end of the third quarter and remained at full capacity during the fourth quarter. Our decisions to change production levels in the future will be based on an evaluation of market demand signals, inventory and supply levels, as well as our ability to continue to safeguard the health of our associates. During 2021, we may experience unexpected delays or obstacles, such as disruptions in our supply chain or government mandates, that may hamper our ability to achieve planned production levels. Further, we will not be able to operate at optimal levels of efficiency given new work rules and procedures that were implemented to protect our associates and increased absenteeism as a result of community spread of COVID-19. Any suspension of production at our manufacturing facilities, or difficulties or inefficiencies in resuming or increasing production, is likely to adversely impact our future results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and that impact may be material.

Our primary sources of liquidity are cash generated from our operating and financing activities. Our cash flows from operating activities are driven primarily by our operating results and changes in our working capital requirements and our cash flows from financing activities are dependent upon our ability to access credit or other capital. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues for an extended period of time or worsens, our liquidity position may deteriorate. While we actively monitor our liquidity and took a number of actions aimed at mitigating the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on our cash flows and liquidity, our cash flows from operating activities may decline if global economic activity remains low and we are unable to have sufficient access to credit or other capital. For example, the borrowing base under our first lien revolving credit facility is dependent, in significant part, on our eligible accounts receivable and inventory, which have declined as a result of our lower sales and production levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, our European revolving credit facility contains a leverage ratio covenant applicable to Goodyear Europe B.V. and its subsidiaries.  While we are currently in compliance with this covenant, if we were unable to satisfy this covenant in the future or obtain a waiver from our lenders, we would no longer be able to access our €800 million European revolving credit facility or our pan-European accounts receivable securitization facility.

The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity will depend on future developments, such as the ultimate duration and scope of the pandemic, its impact on our customers and suppliers, how quickly normal economic conditions, operations and the demand for our products can resume, and whether the pandemic leads to recessionary conditions in any of our key markets. Government-sponsored liquidity or stimulus programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may not be available to us or our customers or suppliers, and if available, may be insufficient to address

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the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the ultimate impact on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity cannot be determined at this time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated several of the risks disclosed below, including, but not limited to, the following (which are identified by their caption):

 

If we do not successfully implement our strategic initiatives, our operating results, financial condition and liquidity may be materially adversely affected.

 

Our long term ability to meet our obligations, to repay maturing indebtedness or to implement strategic initiatives may be dependent on our ability to access capital markets in the future and to improve our operating results.

 

Financial difficulties, work stoppages, supply disruptions or economic conditions affecting our major customers, dealers or suppliers could harm our business.

 

Our capital expenditures may not be adequate to maintain our competitive position and may not be implemented in a timely or cost-effective manner.

 

We have a substantial amount of debt, which could restrict our growth, place us at a competitive disadvantage or otherwise materially adversely affect our financial health.

 

Any failure to be in compliance with any material provision or covenant of our debt instruments, or a material reduction in the borrowing base under our revolving credit facility, could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and operations.

 

We have substantial fixed costs and, as a result, our operating income fluctuates disproportionately with changes in our net sales.

If we do not successfully implement our strategic initiatives, our operating results, financial condition and liquidity may be materially adversely affected.

Our results for 2020 were highly influenced by the severe economic disruption caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The tire industry has been negatively impacted by this evolving situation, particularly earlier in the year, which was characterized by a sudden and sharp decline in replacement tire demand and original equipment manufacturers suspending or severely limiting automobile production globally.  Our results have been, and are likely to continue to be, adversely impacted by this economic disruption, including lower tire volume, sales, income and cash flow.  In this environment, global tire industry demand continues to be difficult to predict.

We are pursuing important strategic initiatives, such as our operational excellence, sales and marketing excellence and innovation excellence initiatives. Our operational excellence initiatives are aimed at improving our manufacturing efficiency and creating an advantaged supply chain focused on reducing our total delivered costs, optimizing working capital levels and delivering best in industry customer service. Our sales and marketing excellence initiatives are intended to build the value of our brand, help our customers win in their markets, and become consumers' preferred choice. Our innovation excellence initiatives are designed to develop great products and services that anticipate and respond to the needs of consumers. If we fail to execute these initiatives successfully, we may fail to achieve our financial goals.

We believe that our manufacturing footprint is less cost-competitive than that of our principal competitors. To begin to address this competitive disadvantage, we are curtailing production of tires for declining, less profitable segments of the tire market and undertaking significant capital investments in building, expanding and modernizing manufacturing facilities around the world to strengthen the competitiveness of our manufacturing footprint and increase production of premium, large-rim diameter consumer tires. The failure to implement successfully this or our other important strategic initiatives may materially adversely affect our operating results, financial condition and liquidity.

We continue to face distribution challenges in Europe which have adversely impacted our consumer replacement tire business in that region.  In 2020, we continued to address these challenges by taking actions to better align our European distribution network in order to capture the full value of our products and brands in the marketplace.  This project is ongoing and although significant progress has been made, the remaining changes we are pursuing to our distribution network in Europe could lead to continued disruption in our consumer replacement sales in 2021.  If we fail to address the distribution challenges that we face, or our plans to align our distribution network in Europe do not achieve the desired result, our competitive position may deteriorate and our operating results, financial condition and liquidity could be adversely affected.

Our performance is also dependent on our ability to improve the volume and mix of higher margin tires we sell in our targeted market segments. In order to do so, we must be successful in developing, producing, marketing and selling products that consumers desire and that offer higher margins to us. Shifts in consumer demand away from higher margin tires could

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materially adversely affect our business. We have been capacity constrained from time to time with respect to the production of certain higher margin tires, particularly in the United States. When faced with these constraints, we try to alleviate them by utilizing our global manufacturing footprint to meet the demand for our tires and by adding manufacturing capacity. However, in spite of these initiatives, we may not be able to meet all of the demand for certain of our higher margin tires, which could harm our competitive position and limit our growth.

We cannot assure you that our strategic initiatives will be successful. If not, we may not be able to achieve or sustain future profitability, which would impair our ability to meet our debt and other obligations and would otherwise negatively affect our operating results, financial condition and liquidity.

We face significant global competition and our market share could decline.

New tires are sold under highly competitive conditions throughout the world. We compete with other tire manufacturers on the basis of product design, performance, price and terms, reputation, warranty terms, customer service and consumer convenience. On a worldwide basis, we have two major competitors, Bridgestone (based in Japan) and Michelin (based in France), that have large shares of the markets of the countries in which they are based and are aggressively seeking to maintain or improve their worldwide market share. Other significant competitors include Continental, Cooper, Hankook, Kumho, Nexen, Pirelli, Sumitomo, Toyo, Yokohama and various regional tire manufacturers. Our competitors produce significant numbers of tires in low-cost countries, and have announced plans to further increase their production capacity in those countries as well as the United States. These increases in production capacity may result in even greater competition in the United States and elsewhere.

Our ability to compete successfully will depend, in significant part, on our ability to continue to innovate and manufacture the types of tires demanded by consumers, and to reduce costs by such means as reducing excess and high-cost capacity, leveraging global purchasing, improving productivity, eliminating redundancies and increasing production at low-cost supply sources. If we are unable to compete successfully, our market share may decline, materially adversely affecting our results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, the automotive industry may experience significant changes due to the introduction of new technologies, such as electric and autonomous vehicles, or new services, business models or methods of travel, such as ride sharing. As the automotive industry evolves, we may need to provide a wider range of products and services to remain competitive, including products that we do not currently have the capability to manufacture or services that we do not currently offer. The demand for our products may also decline if automotive production declines and/or total vehicle miles traveled declines. If we do not accurately predict, prepare for and respond to market developments, technological innovations and changing customer and consumer needs and preferences, our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

Raw material and energy costs may materially adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

Raw material costs have historically been volatile, and we may experience increases in the prices of natural and synthetic rubber, carbon black and petrochemical-based commodities. Market conditions, including actions by competitors, or contractual obligations may prevent us from passing any such increased costs on to our customers through timely price increases. Additionally, higher raw material and energy costs around the world may offset our efforts to reduce our cost structure. As a result, higher raw material and energy costs could result in declining margins and operating results and adversely affect our financial condition. The volatility of raw material costs may cause our margins, operating results and liquidity to fluctuate. In addition, lower raw material costs may put downward pressure on the price of tires, which could ultimately reduce our margins and adversely affect our results of operations.

If we fail to extend or renegotiate significant collective bargaining contracts with our labor unions as they expire from time to time, or if our unionized employees were to engage in a strike or other work stoppage or interruption, our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity could be materially adversely affected.

We are a party to collective bargaining contracts with our labor unions, which represent a significant number of our employees. Our master collective bargaining agreement with the USW covers approximately 5,700 of our associates in the United States at December 31, 2020, and expires in July 2022. In addition, approximately 20,000 of our associates outside of the United States are covered by union contracts that have expired or are expiring in 2021, primarily in Germany, Luxembourg, China, Slovenia, France, Turkey, India and Mexico. Although we believe that our relations with our associates are satisfactory, no assurance can be given that we will be able to successfully extend or renegotiate our collective bargaining agreements as they expire from time to time. If we fail to extend or renegotiate our collective bargaining agreements, if disputes with our unions arise, or if our unionized workers engage in a strike or other work stoppage or interruption, we could experience a significant

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disruption of, or inefficiencies in, our operations or incur higher labor costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

We could be negatively impacted by the imposition of tariffs on imported tires and other goods.

The imposition of tariffs on certain tires imported from China or other countries may reduce our flexibility to utilize our global manufacturing footprint to meet demand for our tires around the world. In addition, the imposition of tariffs in the United States may result in the tires subject to such tariffs being diverted to other regions of the world, such as Europe, Latin America or Asia, or in retaliatory tariffs or other actions by affected countries. Broad-based tariffs and other trade restrictions could also increase costs for our suppliers who may increase prices to us. Finally, tariffs and other trade restrictions may weaken the economies of key markets for us, such as China, resulting in lower economic growth rates and weakened demand for our products and services. These factors, individually or together, could materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Our international operations have certain risks that may materially adversely affect our operating results, financial condition and liquidity.

We have manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the world. Our international operations are subject to certain inherent risks, including:

 

exposure to local economic conditions;

 

adverse foreign currency fluctuations;

 

adverse currency exchange controls;

 

withholding taxes and restrictions on the withdrawal of foreign investment and earnings;

 

tax policies and regulations;

 

labor regulations;

 

tariffs;

 

government price and profit margin controls;

 

expropriations of property;

 

adverse changes in the diplomatic relations of foreign countries with the United States;

 

the potential instability of foreign governments;

 

hostility from local populations and insurrections;

 

risks of renegotiation or modification of existing agreements with governmental authorities;

 

export and import restrictions; and

 

other changes in laws or government policies.

The likelihood of such occurrences and their potential effect on us vary from country to country and are unpredictable. Certain regions, including Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, are inherently more economically and politically volatile and, as a result, our business units that operate in these regions could be subject to significant fluctuations in sales and operating income from quarter to quarter. Because a significant percentage of our operating income in recent years has come from these regions, adverse fluctuations in the operating results in these regions could have a significant impact on our results of operations in future periods.

In addition, compliance with complex foreign and U.S. laws and regulations that apply to our international operations increases our cost of doing business in international jurisdictions. These numerous and sometimes conflicting laws and regulations include import and export laws, anti-competition laws, anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, and other local laws prohibiting corrupt payments to governmental officials, data privacy laws such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, tax laws, and accounting, internal control and disclosure requirements. Violations of these laws and regulations could result in civil and criminal fines, penalties and sanctions against

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us, our officers or our employees, prohibitions on the conduct of our business and on our ability to offer our products and services in one or more countries, and could also materially affect our reputation, business and results of operations. In certain foreign jurisdictions, there is a higher risk of fraud or corruption and greater difficulty in maintaining effective internal controls and compliance programs. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to promote compliance with applicable laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors or agents will not violate our policies or applicable laws and regulations.

We have foreign currency translation and transaction risks that may materially adversely affect our operating results, financial condition and liquidity.

The financial position and results of operations of many of our international subsidiaries are initially recorded in various foreign currencies and then translated into U.S. dollars at the applicable exchange rate for inclusion in our financial statements. The strengthening of the U.S. dollar against these foreign currencies ordinarily has a negative impact on our reported sales and operating margin (and conversely, the weakening of the U.S. dollar against these foreign currencies has a positive impact). For the year ended December 31, 2020, foreign currency translation unfavorably affected sales by $233 million and unfavorably affected segment operating income by $2 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The volatility of currency exchange rates may materially adversely affect our operating results.

Our long term ability to meet our obligations, to repay maturing indebtedness or to implement strategic initiatives may be dependent on our ability to access capital markets in the future and to improve our operating results.

The adequacy of our liquidity depends on our ability to achieve an appropriate combination of operating improvements, financing from third parties and access to capital markets. We may need to undertake additional financing actions in the capital markets in order to ensure that our future liquidity requirements are addressed or to implement strategic initiatives. These actions may include the issuance of additional debt or equity, or the factoring of our accounts receivable.

Our access to the capital markets cannot be assured and is dependent on, among other things, the ability and willingness of financial institutions to extend credit on terms that are acceptable to us or our suppliers, or to honor future draws on our existing lines of credit, and the degree of success we have in implementing our strategic initiatives. We have continued our use of supplier financing programs and the factoring of our accounts receivable in order to improve our working capital efficiency and reduce our costs. If these programs become unavailable or less attractive to us or our suppliers, our liquidity could be adversely affected.

Future liquidity requirements, or our inability to access cash deposits or make draws on our lines of credit, also may make it necessary for us to incur additional debt. A substantial portion of our assets is subject to liens securing our indebtedness. As a result, we are limited in our ability to pledge our remaining assets as security for additional secured indebtedness.

Our inability to access the capital markets or incur additional debt in the future could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and operations, and could require us to consider further measures, including deferring planned capital expenditures, reducing discretionary spending, selling additional assets and restructuring existing debt.

Financial difficulties, work stoppages, supply disruptions or economic conditions affecting our major customers, dealers or suppliers could harm our business.

The tire industry has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly earlier in 2020, which was characterized by a sudden and sharp decline in replacement tire demand and original equipment manufacturers suspending or severely limiting automobile production globally. As a result of the ongoing pandemic, automotive vehicle production and global tire industry demand continues to be difficult to predict.

Although sales to our OE customers accounted for approximately 17% of our net sales in 2020, demand for our products by OE customers and production levels at our facilities are impacted by automotive vehicle production. We may experience future declines in sales volume due to declines in new vehicle sales, the performance, discontinuation or sale of certain OE brands, platforms or programs, increased competition, or weakness in the demand for replacement tires, which could result in us incurring under-absorbed fixed costs at our production facilities or slowing the rate at which we are able to recover those costs.

Automotive production can also be affected by the ongoing pandemic, labor relation issues, financial difficulties or supply disruptions. Our OE customers could experience production disruptions resulting from their own or supplier labor, financial or supply difficulties, or from government actions to contain and combat the outbreak and spread of COVID-19. Such events may cause an OE customer to reduce or suspend vehicle production. Other customers, such as dealers, retailers or distributors, may

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experience similar disruptions to their operations.  As a result, a customer could halt or significantly reduce purchases of our products, which would harm our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Our suppliers could also experience production disruptions due to the ongoing pandemic or labor, financial or supply difficulties, or new environmental laws or stricter enforcement of existing environmental laws. Any such production disruptions may result in the unexpected closure of our suppliers' facilities or increases in the cost of our raw materials, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, the bankruptcy, restructuring or consolidation of one or more of our major customers, dealers or suppliers could result in the write-off of accounts receivable, a reduction in purchases of our products or a supply disruption to our facilities, which could negatively affect our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Our capital expenditures may not be adequate to maintain our competitive position and may not be implemented in a timely or cost-effective manner.

Our capital expenditures are limited by our liquidity and capital resources and the amount we have available for capital spending is limited by the need to pay our other expenses and to maintain adequate cash reserves and borrowing capacity to meet unexpected demands that may arise. In addition, we significantly reduced our capital expenditures in 2020 in order to preserve cash as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We believe that our ratio of capital expenditures to sales is lower than the comparable ratio for our principal competitors.

Productivity improvements and manufacturing cost improvements may be required to offset potential increases in labor and raw material costs and competitive price pressures. In addition, as part of our strategy to reduce high-cost and excess manufacturing capacity and to increase our capacity to produce higher margin tires, we may need to modernize or expand our facilities. We are currently undertaking significant construction, expansion and modernization projects in the United States, Germany, Slovenia and Thailand.

We may not have sufficient resources to implement planned capital expenditures with minimal disruption to our existing manufacturing operations, or within desired time frames and budgets. Any disruption to our operations, delay in implementing capital improvements or unexpected costs may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

If we are unable to make sufficient capital expenditures, or to maximize the efficiency of the capital expenditures we do make, we may be unable to achieve productivity improvements, which may harm our competitive position, or to manufacture the products necessary to compete successfully in our targeted market segments. In addition, plant construction and modernization may temporarily disrupt our manufacturing operations and lead to temporary increases in our costs.

We have a substantial amount of debt, which could restrict our growth, place us at a competitive disadvantage or otherwise materially adversely affect our financial health.

We have a substantial amount of debt. As of December 31, 2020, our debt (including finance leases) on a consolidated basis was approximately $6.0 billion. Our substantial amount of debt and other obligations could have important consequences. For example, it could:

 

make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations;

 

impair our ability to obtain financing in the future for working capital, capital expenditures, research and development, acquisitions or general corporate requirements;

 

increase our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions;

 

limit our ability to use cash flows from operating activities in other areas of our business or to return cash to shareholders because we would need to dedicate a substantial portion of these funds for payments on our indebtedness;

 

limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate; and