Bridgestone Bandag Announces Redundancies
An announcement made by Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) on December 3 signals the end of the line for its Oncor Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS) plant in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, redundancies are being made at other US sites. Approximately 60 jobs will be lost in total; Bridgestone says the closure and redundancies are occurring in response to reduced demand for its truck tyres and retreads, as well as an alignment of operations under the Bandag name.
“These have been very difficult decisions to make, but our leadership team has been working diligently on the future direction of the organisation,” said Saul Solomon, president, BBTS. “Although we’ve taken a number of steps to reduce expenses while enhancing quality, as we continue on our journey of building a unified, customer-focused organisation, it was clear we needed to do more. Today’s announcements reflect our commitment to make good business decisions that will benefit our customers and our business for the long-term.”
These decisions, the company says, are also a part of BBTS’ ongoing efforts to integrate and streamline its business in order to offer its customers a single truck and retread tyre business unit responsible for providing programs, services, information and products that reduce fleet operating costs and give dealers the opportunity to enhance their business.
“We are 18 months into our integration journey, and we are making great progress in creating one cohesive business unit that has, at its core, a focus on the customer,” Solomon said. “That said, based upon a comprehensive review of the truck and bus retread marketplace, it is clear that BBTS must take additional steps to streamline operations so we can continue to provide our customers with the best possible service, while positioning BBTS for additional growth and profitability in the future.”
Nine positions in Muscatine, Iowa, seven positions in Nashville, Tennessee, and 23 field sales positions will be eliminated immediately through, says Bridgestone, a consolidation of functions and job responsibilities in the sales, marketing, finance, legal and human resources departments. Muscatine will remain BBTS’ headquarters, and the finance and marketing teams have been asked to relocate there from Nashville in order to further BBTS’ integration. Bridgestone states the decision to close the Oncor facility as of January 31, 2009, which will result in the loss of 21 jobs, was made to align BBTS under the Bandag retread brand name. The affected full-time employees at both BBTS and Oncor will receive outplacement services and severance pay, Bridgestone adds.