US Defence Spending Allocated to Goodyear
The US House of Representatives approved a military spending bill that, amongst numerous projects, earmarks US$1.2 million for Goodyear’s production facility in Topeka, Kansas for the production of tyres for the military. The Defense Appropriations bill was approved by 400 votes to 15 on November 8, and now proceeds to the US Senate for a second vote.
Upon final approval of the bill Goodyear will be commissioned to manufacture tyres for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, a unit designed to replace the military’s Humvee. This new vehicle – intended to provide greater versatility and survivability in the event of an attack than existing designs – is still currently at the prototype stage, with military officials considering various options from 18 different manufacturers. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is not expected to enter production until 2012, at which stage up to 160,000 of the vehicles will most likely be produced.
For some, the awarding of this military contract to Goodyear is not only a financial plus. More than a few eyebrows were raised in January when France’s Michelin was awarded a $10.7 million contract to supply its BFGoodrich Baja T/A tyres to the Humvee. The Representative for the state of Kansas, Nancy Boyda, commented that the decision to award this latest contract to Goodyear’s Topeka plant was “the right thing to do for our military, but it’s also good to help one of our local companies.”
About 1,600 employees work at the plant, which manufactures off-road and truck radial tyres. The facility, which was established during the Second World War as a site for the production of military tyres, has in recent years also produced tyres for the Humvee, although strike action at the plant, which took place shortly before the awarding of Michelin’s supply contract, saw output of Humvee tyres temporarily drop by 35 per cent, causing a shortage for the military.