Company Reports World Expansion Progress
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At Portugal Unit
Production operations have
begun at the Firestone plant in
Portugal, another new unit of
the overall, worldwide expan-
A Plant For India
A loan of 27,100,000 Indian
rupees—largest loan of foreign
currency in the history of the
Export-Import Bank of Wash
ington—went to Synthetics and
Chemicals Limited, of India, for
construction of a synthetic rub
ber plant. This amount is
equivalent to $5,700,000 in U. S.
The India concern was organ
ized by the Firestone company
and Kilachand, Devchand &
Company, Private Limited, of
Bombay. The firm will spend
the loan to help finance a syn-
Ready By August
The first tire ever manufac
tured in Western Canada was
assembled and cured at Fire
stone of Canada’s new Calgary
plant early this year. The “No.
1” tire, a 750-14 Firestone De
luxe Champion tubeless is first-
line stock of the latest type and
It was produced to test the
installation of the first tire-
building and curing machines
of the most advanced type and
design in North America. Full
production is expected to begin
at the multimillion-dollar plant
The first tire was presented to
the mayor of Calgary, in a cere
mony at City Hall. Calgary,
with around 200,000 population,
is in southern Alberta province,
near the foothills of the Rocky
Mountains. Firestone selected it
sion program for Firestone. An
nual production capacity at the
Alcochete operation, ten miles
from Lisbon, is expected to
reach 120,000 tires for truck and
Firestone formed the new
company—known as Firestone
Portuguesa — with Portuguese
bankers and industrialists.
A skeleton force of technicians
and supervisors went from Ak
ron and other Firestone plants
to direct the beginning opera
tions. Early this year, a man
aging director, a plant manager,
and a production manager had
been assigned to the new opera
The Portuguese plant is Fire
stone’s 17th foreign tire plant in
works near Bareilly. Total cost
of the project will be around
The facility for production of
synthetic rubber will include
plants for producing butadiene
and styrene, principal raw ma
terials used in the manufacture
of synthetic rubber. With a 30,-
000-ton capacity, the plant will
be the first of its kind in India.
Annual production at first will
be 20,000 tons.
India is expected to save ap
proximately $10,000,000 each
year in foreign exchange, as a
result of the new project’s op
as the site of its new plant be
cause of its importance as a
trade, rail and industrial center,
and its convenience to the
market of Western Canada.
When completed, the new
plant will manufacture a full
line of passenger, truck, bus,
farm and implement tires.
Is Being Built
The company’s 18th foreign
tire manufacturing operation is
being located at Bethune,
France, 123 miles north of Paris,
near the coast.
Construction of the one-story,
multimillion-dollar unit was be
gun in February. When com
pleted late this year, it will
begin producing a full line of
tires and tubes for passenger
cars, trucks, buses, farm equip
ment, motorcycles, and scooters.
Plans to locate a tire plant and
unit in France were revealed
by Company chairman Harvey
S. Firestone Jr., on a visit to
Europe several months ago.
The plant, on an 81-acre site
near an important industrial and
rail center in northern France,
is another project of the com
pany’s worldwide expansion pro
THE HILLS BEYOND
Mrs. F. W. Docker
Mrs. Fred W. Docker, 82, was
buried March 25 in Pine Grove
cemetery at New Bedford, Mass.
Funeral for Mrs. Docker, who
died March 20 in a western
North Carolina hospital, was
held at St. Mark’s Episcopal
Mrs. Docker was born in Hay-
field, Dervyshire, England, and
came to the United States in
1904. She lived in Canada and
New Bedford, Mass., until her
husband's death in 1935. For
punching Catth on a Jack Habbii
some time she made her home
with her daughter and son-in-
law, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Davis
of Gastonia. Mr. Davis is man
ager of the Cotton Office at
Besides her daughter, Mrs.
Docker left two grandchildren:
Frank Davis Jr., Littlefield, Tex
as; and Fred W. Davis, Birming
Mrs. R. G. Spencer
Funeral for Mrs. Robert G.
Spencer, 43, was held March 23
at Bradley Memorial Methodist
Church of Gastonia, and burial
was in Pisgah AR Presbyterian
Surviving are her husband,
manager of supply at Firestone;
and two children, Mary Janice
and Robert Gerald Spencer of
the home at 2362 Hedgewood
circle. Other survivors are
brothers, H. C. Watkins of Ker
shaw, S. C.; Hoyt W. Watkins,
Dallas, N. C.; L. B. and Jerry T.
Watkins, Camden, S. C.; J. C.
Watkins, Jacksonville, Fla.; Le
roy Watkins, Vancouver, Wash.;
Robert F. Watkins, Winston-
Salem, N. C.
General manager Harold Mercer presents Boys' Club gift check
to Leonard Geter. co-chairman of the special gifts committee,
and a Weaving (synthetics) employee here. Others are (left) Boys'
Club vice president Charles Costner, Firestone comptroller E. J.
Mechem; and Nathaniel Barber, Boys' Club fund campaign man
Company Donated $2,550
To Help A Boys’ Club Rise
A Firestone gift of $2,550
in late March brought the
open doors of Gaston Boys’
Club, Inc. closer to reality.
When the company made its
contribution, it brought the
subscribed amount to $42,000.
An initial goal of $50,000 had
been set for the club which
will serve Negro boys 6
through 18 years of age.
The fund campaign, which
began February 1, was reaching
for its goal by early April, with
Gaston county’s prominent
Negro citizens leading the way.
The clubhouse will be located
in the Highland community—
center of Gastonia’s Negro pop
ulation—but will serve the en
tire county. Project leaders said
that an estimated 5,000 Negro
boys 6-18 are attending schools
in the city and county.
To be affiliated with Boys’
Club of America, Inc., the facili
ty will be operated by a profes
sional supervisor. It will exist
primarily for the underprivileg
ed, but will have a program for
others as well.
Building campaign manager
Nathaniel Barber noted that the
Firestone contribution was the
largest single gift received up
to that time. “It gave the drive
a big push, just when it was
needed to help us to reach the
goal,” he said.
Helped Them Roll
In 1959, more cars and trucks
moved more miles over Ameri
ca’s growing street and highway
network than in any previous
A record 70.4 million motor
vehicles traveled nearly 700
More than 175 million motor
vehicles have been produced in
the U. S. since the industry’s
birth in 1896.
Nearly three out of four fam
ilies own automobiles.
Multi-car households have in
creased 67 per cent in five years.
More than 18 per cent of car-
owning families — or 13.5 per
cent of all families—now own
two or more automobiles.
Of the 81.5 million drivers in
the U. S., 38.2 per cent are
Taxes take 21 cents of the
automotive retail sales dollar.
One out of every six business
firms in the U. S. is in the auto
One out of every seven em
ployed persons works in a high
way transport industry—a total
of 10.4 million automotive jobs.
U. S. automotive companies
have a total of about 1.7 mil
Farmers operate more than 3
million trucks and 4.3 million
Admission of Alaska and Ha
waii as the 49th and 50th States
seems to have stepped up Texas
people's pride in the superiori
ties of "The Bluebonnet Land."
At least, that's the way John
Mercer of the Mechanical de
partment looks at it.
This picture, being widely cir
culated from down Texas way.
is typical of the friendly brag
ging which is a firebrand of the
Lone Star folks. Mr. Mercer re
ceived the picture from lathe
operator Cramer Little of the
Shop. He and Mrs. Little mailed
it while on a recent visit with
their daughter Betty, who is a
psychiatric social worker on the
staff of Jefferson Davis Me
morial Hospital in Houston.
APRIL, 1960 f'ire$tone
Friends for your Company
WINNING and keeping the good will of
the public is a vitally important part
of business. In these days, it is essential to
the successful operation of any organization
that produces goods for customers to buy.
Making friends for a company is far more
than making known the company and its
products. In a larger sense, to those who
have contacts of any kind with the com
pany, it leads them to recognize and ap
preciate the company’s character—its atti
tudes, integrity, and its problems of opera
tion as an asset to the community.
A program of building good will helps to
increase sales, to be sure. Beyond that, it
establishes the kind of faith in the company
that builds a foundation for growth, ex
pansion and job security for the future.
A company’s publicity and good-will pro
gram is made up of thousands of things,
large and small. Everybody in the company
is part of this endeavor. . .
Each piece of quality work turned out . . .
every letter typed, every telephone call,
every meeting with plant visitors—all have
a lasting effect on what the public thinks
of the company for which you work.
Whenever you speak, write, or act as a
member of your company team—whether
the contact is personal or indirect—you in
fluence the company’s standing in the pub
To those who meet you, or know your
work. . .
YOU are the Company