Proposed Project Topic : Goodyear Tire Reliability

Art Madsen, M.Ed.

Executive Summary:

In the automotive industry, product reliability is a major component of customer satisfaction, profitability and repeat sales. Reliability is also related, in the consumer's mind, to retail price. No consumer wishes to purchase an exclusively priced item the Mean Time to Failure of which is a matter of mere weeks. Therefore, my project intends to analyze, in some depth, the reliability and price structure of a series of products in the automotive sub-speciality of tire manufacturing.

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is one of the three most prominent tire manufacturers in the United States. It produces a colossal range of merchandise; yet, my project will focus on only eight of their products which are, nonetheless, among the most popular items in Goodyear's tire inventory. Passenger Car and Light Truck tires constitute a major source of Goodyear's business. With specific reference to this series of products, my Project Design's structure will be formulated.

Systems Design Analysis:

Eight specific tires, all with differing design specifications, will be analyzed on the basis of (1) on-line data from Goodyear and independent sources, (2) locally acquired information, and (3) derived statistical reliability quotients incorporating performance factors such as tread wear, traction, and temperature resistance. These data will be compared with the price structure of the eight selected tire models as obtained from our local Las Cruces Goodyear Distributor. Data will be organized in a Master Chart Format incorporating the Name of the Tire (e.g. T-Metric, Regatta, Intrepid, S4S, etc.), Numerical Designation of the Tire (determined on the basis of Mean Tire Size), Tire Description (e.g. Wet Traction, All-Season, etc.), Local Retail Price, a Reliability Rating, and a Price/Reliability Ratio column.

The first two operative columns on this Chart will be the Retail Price structure and the Reliability Rating, which will be a parametric quotient mathematically derived (probably) from a "Likert-type questionnaire" survey of local mechanics and Goodyear dealer representatives. Data, once calculated, will be converted to a price/reliability ratio, constituting the third operative column.

Model Development:

An analysis of the accuracy of this approach will be made. Possible limitations and permutations will be discussed to explore the significance of results obtained, and the implications of those results for the price/reliability-conscious consumer. The Master Chart may be modified as a function of preliminary findings, as my analytical model is developed, prior to final drafting of the Project Paper in December.

Product Design Recommendations:

Recommendations will be made on the basis of existing price and reliability ratios revealed by the results of this study. My project will, therefore, assist the consumer in selecting merchandise, and may suggest some ways for local dealers to re-align prices on the basis of overall reliability of the eight distinctly different Passenger Car and Light Truck tires surveyed.

The resultant paper, which earned a 95% grade in a graduate level RELIABILITY COURSE, can be viewed, in its entirety, at:

Madsen's Inferential Study

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