The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company reported higher tire unit volumes, record sales and higher earnings for the first quarter of 2011, the company said in a statement.

Improvement in North American Tire is a critical element to achieving our targets.  North American Tire's first quarter performance strengthens my confidence in our future, said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. 

All of our businesses made great progress in offsetting higher raw material costs through improved price/mix and in driving sales of new, innovative products, he added.

Goodyear's first quarter 2011 sales were $5.4 billion, up 27 percent from the 2010 quarter and the highest ever achieved by the company in any quarter.  Tire unit volumes totaled 46.8 million, up almost 7 percent from 2010.

First quarter sales reflect a $219 million increase in volume.  Sales also benefited from strong price/mix improvements, which drove revenue per tire up 15 percent over the 2010 quarter, excluding the impact of foreign currency translation. 

First quarter sales were also impacted by a $276 million increase in sales in other tire-related businesses, primarily third-party chemical sales in North America, and favorable foreign currency translation of $125 million. 

The company had segment operating income of $327 million in the first quarter of 2011, up $87 million from the year-ago quarter.  Segment operating income reflected higher volume as well as improved price/mix of $361 million, which nearly offset $385 million in higher raw material costs.