TOKYO (Dec. 4)—Bridgestone Corp. has lowered its corporate sales and earnings projections for 2001 to reflect a decline in unit sales at Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Inc. Bridgestone is now projecting a 27.6-percent decline in ordinary (before tax) income to $628 million, and a slight dip, less than 1 percent, in revenue for its fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2001, to $17.5 billion. Bridgestone/Firestone Americas' sales are expected to slip about 1.3 percent to $7.4 billion, the company said. Bridgestone/Firestone's decline in unit sales has more than offset the positive effect of the depreciation of the yen, the company said. Still, thanks to tax benefits related to the transfer of the shares of Bridgestone/Firestone into a wholly owned U.S. holding company, the Japanese tire maker has revised upward its projection for net earnings for the year, by 80 percent to $150 million. The tax benefits, the company said, have arisen through the transfer of shares, which has deteriorated in value because of the accumulated losses incurred at Bridgestone/Firestone.