Rich Kramer, who took over as chief executive in April 2010 after overseeing operations and finance, says the key to its turnaround has been concentrating on fewer but higher priced products targeted more toward consumers than auto makers. Almost 75% of its tires now sell for $130 and up. Four years ago, almost 40% of the tires it produced were low-end tires retailing for about $60 apiece.
"Our strategy in the past was based on volume. Now we look only to make the tire consumers want. It's easy to say but hard to do," said Mr. Kramer, 47.
Its former strategy focused on running factories at high volume to offset operating costs. Now, the company is focused on being "a consumer products company and not just an auto supplier company," Mr. Kramer said.