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No. of Recommendations: 5

Just returned from the dealers meeting and I am even more pessimistic about GT's future. Gibar's speech had the following charateristics:

1. He informed the room that the latest financial news due out in Feb, wouldn't be good.

2. He spoke of consolidation after the Sumitomo purchase but had no clear vision of the future.

3. The theme of the dealers convention was G3--the integration of the Goodyear,Dunlop and Kelly lines. Unfortunately, the plan that was offered makes absolutely nosense to most dealers.

Rumors were running rampant and it is difficult to dissect what was true and what was apocryphal--however for the sake of entertainment let me list them.

1. Stan Gault asked for Gibars resignation at a board meeting but Gibara refused and had enough support on the board to hang in there

2. Jack Welch of GE fame has been down to Akron on several occassions and might possibly be involved in some way with GT

About the only good thing about the conference was the presence of William Sharp, the new president of all North American operations. Here is a hard assed business man who wants desperately to save the company. His speech pinpointed the issues and he vowed to make GT better. Sharp is a manufacturing guy, a damm good one. However, what GT needs is someone at the helm with a vision--until then watch the tire continue to lose air!
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