AKRON, OH – Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will close 92 company-owned stores by the end of the year in a move designed "to improve the profitability of its United States retail operations," said Goodyear officials, according to Modern Tire Dealer magazine.

"Following a rigorous review of operating performance and local market dynamics, these company-owned outlets are not producing acceptable returns," said Scott Vogel, vice president, retail operations, for Goodyear's North American Tire business, according to Modern Tire Dealer. "Taking this action now will allow us to focus our attention on locations with the best long-term potential. It will help position Goodyear to be a stronger competitor."

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker is not announcing the store locations impacted "due to its desire to first communicate with (its) approximately 500 full-time and 100 part-time associates, as well as property owners of leased facilities."

The action will result in after-tax charges of approximately $30 million, of which $15 million will be recorded in the third quarter of 2008. The action is expected to eliminate losses related to these locations of approximately $9 million annually.