Why FDP Friction Science Started Goodyear Brakes

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TAPPAHANNOCK, Va.– The schedule to enter the e-commerce market were already in place by early last year for FDP Friction Science, and the onset of the global pandemic reinforced its decision to establish Goodyear Brakes.

According to John Carney, FDP Friction Science sales and marketing vice president, all companies operating today need an online sales presence for long-term sustainability. The pandemic, he said, rejuvenated the do-it-yourself and install-if-for-me markets which further strengthened the online commitment.

“For any company not to have any type of e-commerce strategy would be ill advised,” he said in an extensive interview with The BRAKE Report. ”We keep looking at statistics where the younger generation does research before they buy anything; to not have a product available in that market wherever they’re searching for parts is too big of a risk.

“You are going to have to sell people products where they want to buy products. People want to buy products online. Both the parts and service industries are going to have to learn how to adapt to meet those customers where they’re buying those products and that is online.

“And, quite frankly, we think it has a lot of room to grow.”

To enter this market the 50-year-old manufacturing company headquartered in Tappahannock, Va., decided it would be best to do it under a solid, well-known brand name.

“If you need a battery and you walk into an auto parts store, you are going to walk out with a battery, regardless of the brand. If you go online first and search for batteries, you may be influenced by a brand name. What we found was with people doing research before they buy, the brand is put in front of them and they are now given brand choice which they didn’t really have before.

“As people search for parts, they’re looking for facts and features of the products, but our studies show there is a large preference for established and well-known brands,” he said. “Goodyear certainly falls into that category.”

Licensing a 100-plus-year-old brand well known throughout the country made sense for the company rather than attempting to establish its own brand name.

“We make more brakes, [yet] nobody knows who we are,” he said talking about the company’s primary business of supplying brake components under private label for major retailers.

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Carney said the initial phase for Goodyear Brakes is a solid entry into the e-commerce world, but local distribution is scheduled to follow.

“One of our strategies is to determine where Goodyear tires are sold and make Goodyear Brakes as near to there as possible. If you had made the brand choice to buy Goodyear tires, why wouldn’t you make the brand choice to buy Goodyear brakes if you needed brakes that day or even a year down the road? It’s a cornerstone to our marketing strategy.”

Mike Geylin
Mike Geylin

Mike Geylin is the Editor-in-Chief at Hagman Media. Geylin has been in automotive communications for five decades working in all aspects of the industry from OEM to supplier to motorsports as well as reporting for both newspapers and magazines on the industry.