Goodyear Enters the Brake Market
The Goodyear name will appear on a new line of brakes, to be manufactured in the U.S. by FDP Virginia Inc., a company that has been supplying original equipment manufacturers with brake products for more than 50 years. The initial launch is designed for the DIY channel, and products will be sold online direct to consumers.
The line, which includes brake pads, calipers, rotors and brake bundles, is available at www.GoodyearBrakes.com. The company plans to open a Goodyear Brakes storefront on Amazon.com, and will sell the products on CarID. The GoodyearBrakes.com site features how-to videos to guide inexperienced installers through the process.
As for the "why" of entering the brake market in 2020, Wally McCarty, senior vice president of business development for Goodyear Brakes, points to the projection of a steady increase in demand for aftermarket braking systems. Goodyear says the Freedonia Group's research calls for an annual 2.6% increase in demand through 2021, making it a $4.3 billion market.
And, Goodyear says "more than 90% of the brake pad market is private label products."
“There is a tremendous opportunity for a trusted brand of braking components in the market today,” says McCarty. “While OEM braking systems have improved and advanced, driver assistance systems (ADAS) have reduced extreme brake wear and increased the brakes’ lifespan. There are very few well-known brand names in the brake category, so this makes it difficult for consumers to determine what are premium quality brake system components and fair prices when replacing brakes on their vehicle.”
Bob Bouwma, director of engineering and advanced technologies for Goodyear Brakes, added that the biggest categories in automotive service are the "three Bs" — brakes, batteries and blades. "And tires goes right along with that. When we look at this opportunity to partner with the most trusted brandname in the automotive industry, it just made sense to try to own that part of the car."
The full product line includes:
- brake pads made in the U.S. and "specifically formulated to provide maximum stopping effectiveness, control and durability;"
- rotors that are CNC-machines for performance, durability and safety. The rotors feature a proprietary Antiox Max coating for rust and corrosion protection.
- brake calipers are remanufactured to match OEM requirements. They feature the Antiox Max coating as well as the brackets and hardware for installation.
- bundles that include all the hardware for a complete brake installation.
As for when Goodyear brakes might be available to professional installers and independent tire dealers, McCarty says the company is "working on our distribution" to reach those technicians. "Currently it is an online marketplace right now, but we are working on a distribution channel for the professional marketplace."
He says they've had "discussions" with Goodyear's company-owned stores, but the products aren't available there yet. He says consumers could feasibly buy the brakes online and take them to the Goodyear store to have them installed.