JOLIETTE, Quebec (Jan. 16, 2002)—Bridgestone/Firestone Canada will invest $22.5 million in its Joliette passenger tire plant to purchase equipment to increase tire production lines and add technology. The project is under way and set for completion by July, a spokesman for the company, the Canadian subsidiary of Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Co., BFS said.
The investment will be used to maintain and enhance quality standards and prepare for future needs of customers, BFS CEO John Lampe said, as well as for helping the firm increase its North American market share.
The Joliette plant, BFS' only production facility in Canada, manufactures 19 types of tires for automobile, light truck and sport/utility vehicles, with 90 percent of the 15,000 units shipped daily as original equipment tires for General Motors Corp., Honda North America Inc. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America Inc., the spokesman said.
The Quebec government is supporting the project with $1.6 million in funding, to help preserve the plant's 1,000 jobs.
Since BFS purchased the plant in 1989, it has invested $173 million in the facility, the company said. It originally opened in 1966 under Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.