NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 31, 2008) — Bridgestone/Firestone is evaluating whether to renovate its Akron technical center, build a new one in Akron or build a new center in the Middle Tennessee area.
Bob Handlos, vice president of materials and racing technology for Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire L.L.C., said the tire maker is considering possible sites and costs for a world-class technical center that would have the most current information systems and technology. He said the Akron facility — located in the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. headquarters — will be 100 years old in 2011, but to renovate it would cost in the tens of millions of dollars, according to the company's internal estimations.
More than 1,000 are employed at BFS' Akron complex, and the decision to move to a newer building would affect just more than 600 of them, Handlos said. He noted that government officials in Akron and Middle Tennessee are being proactive regarding BFS' evaluation.
A decision should be made by the end of May, he said, adding that he will make a recommendation to BFS management, and then present the recommendation to the boards of directors of both Bridgestone Americas Holdings Inc. and parent firm Bridgestone Corp. by year-end.