Bridgestone has announced that it plans to end passenger and light truck manufacturing at its LaVergne, Tenn., tire plant and will reduce production of truck tires to better align inventory with demand.
The decision will eliminate 385 jobs from the company’s consumer tire manufacturing line and another 259 employees from its truck tire operations.
The announcement comes on the heels of a December layoff that saw 158 jobs cut.
“Based on current economic forecasts, it appears that the global economic crisis is going to get worse before it gets better,” said Steve Brooks, president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations’ U.S., Canada and Monterrey Manufacturing Group. “We hope that the economy will begin to recover later this year; as a result we also hope that we will be in a position to begin calling teammates back to work in the truck and bus tire production area, perhaps as early as the fourth quarter of 2009. Our hope is that all truck and bus production teammates can return to work by the end of the first quarter of 2010. The truck tire market is often seen as a leading indicator of how the economy is doing. As consumer confidence begins to improve and consumer spending increases, more trucks – and truck tires – will be needed to address consumer demand.”
Truck tire manufacturing will continue at the LaVergne plant with about 700 workers.