Tire Business staff report
Nashville, Tennessee -- Bridgestone/Firestone is evaluating whether to renovate its Akron technical centre, build a new one in Akron or build a new centre in Nashville.
Bob Handlos, vice president of materials and racing technology, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC, told ERJ that the tyre maker is considering possible sites and costs for a world-class technical centre that would have the most current information systems and technology. He said the Akron facility -- located in the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. headquarters -- will be 100 years old in 2011, but to renovate it would cost in the tens of millions of dollars, according to the company's internal estimates.
More than 1000 are employed at BFS' Akron complex, and the decision to move to a newer building would affect more than 600 of them, Mr. Handlos said. He noted that government officials in Akron and Nashville are being proactive regarding BFS' evaluation.
A decision should be made by the end of May, he said, adding that he will make a recommendation to BFS management, then present the recommendation to the boards of directors of both Bridgestone Americas Holdings Inc. and parent firm Bridgestone Corp. by year-end.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)