NEW ORLEANS (April 29)—Bridgestone/Firestone delivered on its promise to its parent company that it would make progress and make money in 2004.
That was the message Mark Emkes, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., told dealers at the company's Bizcon 9 commercial meeting in New Orleans.
Bridgestone Americas ended the year $183 million in the black, after tax, while sales grew 12 percent to $9.15 billion. The results stemmed from several factors, Emkes said, including growth in passenger and light truck tire unit sales in the replacement market, strong unit sales in truck and bus tires, and robust sales in diversified products, Latin America and retail.
Emkes also said that many "delicate issues" continue to be discussed between the tire maker and the United Steelworkers of America as the union seeks a new labor agreement.
"Our goal at Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire is to get an agreement that benefits both parties," he said. "However, what we won't do is anything that jeopardizes the long-term future of this company. I´d like you to know that whatever happens, we'll use every global resource to support your business."