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Ready for new technologies, Quebec tire plant gets infusion of cash

Joliette, QC -- Dec. 21, 2001- Bridgestone/Firestone Canada is injecting $36 million in its Joliette facility to ac...


Joliette, QC — Dec. 21, 2001- Bridgestone/Firestone Canada is injecting $36 million in its Joliette facility to acquire new equipment for various production lines. The project, which is receiving $2.5 million in financial support from Investissement Quebec, is presently under way and should be completed by July 2002.

Through this investment, the plant will be able to extend the line of tires it produces (sizes and private brands) for cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles.

General manager of the facility, Yves Malouin, said the investment will be used to maintain and enhance quality standards, and to prepare for future needs. “One of the main advantages of the Joliette plant is its ability to absorb and manage new technologies.”

Of the 11 Bridgestone/Firestone tire manufacturing plants in North America, the Joliette facility is the only one based in Canada. Inaugurated in October 1966 by Firestone, the facility has produced over 81 million tires for automobile manufacturers and consumers. Since Bridgestone/Firestone acquired the plant in 1989, it has invested $275 million in it. With a surface area of over 1 million sq ft (94,000 sq m), the plant employs over 1,000 people and produces 15,000 tires daily, 90% of which are for export.

<i>By Bill Roebuck, Editor</i>