|Transcription||Firestone Readies 8th U. S. Plant In Illinois
By JOSEPH E. KUEBLER
Business And Industrial Writer
Firestone will open its eighth American tire plant in Decatur, Ill., early in March, Chairman Harvey S. Firestone Jr. disclosed today.
The new facility, formerly the Decatur Signal Depot, was purchased from the Government earlier this year. Located on a 160-acre tract of land, the plant contains about 1,700,000 square feet of floor space.
It was acquired from the
Surplus Properties Administration.
DURING World War II, it was used as an airplane engine plant. The Signal Depot, which employed as many as 1,300, was closed in 1961.
Newest tire manufacturing equipment is being installed in Decatur, Firestone noted. The company currently is producing tires in two plants in Akron, headquarters of its world-wide organization, as well as in Memphis, Tenn., Des Moines, Iowa, Los Angeles, Pottstown, Pa., and Dayton.
There also are tire plants
in 20 foreign countries.
ESTABLISHMENT of the
Decatur facility is a further indication of his company's optimism for the future of the rubber industry, Firestone said. Shipment of passenger,
truck and tractor tires is expected to climb to an all-time high of 132 million units in 1963, he added. Of this total, 91.7 million will be replacement tires, it is estimated.
"Firestone intends to be ready for future sales opportunities, which certainly are indicated by the potential market for tires from 79 million vehicles" the chairman commented.
Decatur, a city of about 75,000, is 140 miles south of Chicago and is the home of Millikin University, one of the country's older educational institutions. |