AKRON—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has decided to do away with its Dayton Tire Co. division and merge the Dayton Tire operations into its Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Sales Co. unit (BFTS), effective Jan. 1. The Dayton Tire sales force will be integrated into the BFTS sales organization, led by John Gamauf, vice president of consumer tire sales, Bridgestone/Firestone said.
This integrated sales force will represent all the company's tire brands: the Bridgestone and Firestone flag brands, as well as those previously handled by Dayton Tire, including Dayton, Road King, Gillette and Peerless.
The company said this move will not affect its 30-year-old tire plant in Oklahoma City, which continues to produce the majority of Dayton products, but also Bridgestone, Firestone and other associate and private brands.
"By bringing the Dayton and other associate and private brands into the Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Sales Co., we will be able to utilize the synergies of a combined organization to stengthen all our products," said BFTS President John Lampe.
"Our Dayton associates, customers and brands will continue to be a very important asset to Bridgestone/ Firestone and will now fully realize the advantages of a multibrand strategy," Mr. Lampe said.
Founded in 1905 in Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Rubber Manufacturing Co. was purchased by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1961. In 1991, it became a separate divisional company of Bridgestone/Firestone, and since that time, sales for the Dayton brand alone have leapt 135 percent, the company said.