Tires Create More Demand for Soybeans
Goodyear and the soy checkoff partnered to introduce Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tires for passenger vehicles. The tires feature a soy-based rubber compound, which will create another market opportunity for soybean oil.
“Goodyear and the soy checkoff share something special: a commitment to innovation,” says John Motter, United Soybean Board chair and farmer from Jenera, Ohio. “When we started working with them more than six years ago, it was just an idea, a way to build demand for soybean oil. Now, we have a tire that shows what soy can do on the road.”
“Any time we can find another use for soybeans, we’re creating a better demand,” says Motter.
Goodyear’s interest in soybean oil included a look at sustainability, a priority for many corporations throughout the U.S. Sustainability wasn’t the only benefit for the soy-based rubber compound; the company also found a competitive advantage.
The rubber compounds made with soybean oil remain soft at lower temperatures, which leads to enhanced traction in dry, wet and winter conditions, says Motter.
“As we develop great products that anticipate and respond to the needs of consumers, soybean oil was one of the technologies enabling us to meet a challenging performance goal,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global material science.
“Businesses looking to use soy, even if for sustainable purposes, want to see not only a price-competitive product, but also one that functions the same or better than their original product,” says Motter. “That’s why the checkoff works with companies such as Goodyear to test soybean oil and to confirm its characteristics, so we can increase demand for our product and ultimately increase our profit opportunities.”
“When rubber meets the row, we increase the demand for soybean oil, that’s good for farmers across the United States,” says Motter.
Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tire will be widely available in September 2017 and will be offered in a wide range of sizes, covering 77% of cars, minivans, and SUVs on the road today.