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February 17, 1961
A NEW TIRE PLANT was built at Calgary, Alberta, Canada,
to serve the fast-growing western Canadian markets. Harvey S.
Firestone, Jr., chairman, cut the traditional ribbon to open the plant
as T. M. Mayberry, president, Firestone of Canada; the Hon. A. R.
Patrick, Alberta minister of industry and development; Deputy
Mayor Bruce Watson; and the Hon. Douglas S. Harkness, federal
minister of agriculture, joined him in the ceremony.
If I have given you the idea, however, that we are concentrating
chiefly on foreign markets, I should like to correct that impression by
telling you that we are constantly modernizing our domestic facilities.
The population of the United States recently passed the 180,000,000
mark and it has been predicted that by 1970 there will be some 90,000,000
cars and trucks in this country as compared with an estimated 68,000,000
in 1960, an increase of more than 32 per cent in the next ten years. Our
forward planning is keyed to keep pace with this growth in domestic
The modernization programs which have already been completed in
our plants in the United States have resulted in lower production costs,
increased capacity, better control of quality and improved products. The
new Firestone Synthetic Fibers plant at Hopewell, Virginia, went into
operation in 1960, producing nylon and other plastic filaments. Firestone
is the only rubber company producing nylon filament for use in its own
tire cords. Further manufacturing economies and better control of quality
are expected when we go into production of Coral and Diene synthetic
rubbers and polypropylene resins at the Firestone Petrochemical Center
at Orange, Texas, early this year.
From these facts, it seems evident that we are in a business which
has great possibilities for increased sales and profits during the Sixties
both at home and abroad. And I can assure you that the Firestone
organization is prepared to meet the challenges of the world of tomorrow,
just as it has succeeded in meeting the repeated challenges of the world
of today and yesterday. That is why “confidence” is a key word here
We have confidence in the future of our country and in the future
of our Company, and with good reason, since all signs point to a long-
range period of progress and prosperity for many years to come.
« * *
TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE of these future opportunities, we
rely on widespread research, development and testing, so necessary to
the creation of new products and to the improvement of the quality and
IN BETHUNE, FRANCE, a tire plant is nearing completion.
Participating in the cornerstone laying ceremony for the new plant
with Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., chairman, (center) were (left to right)
Pierre Sainclair, a director of the French Company; Harry Chabane,
Firestone France public relations; Edmund Evard, European man
ager; George Vlober, a director of Firestone France; and Robert
Cousin, prefect of Pas-de-Calais.
A $6 MILLION CONTRACT was
awarded to Firestone for the production
of M-17 masks developed by the Army
performance of existing products. Our Company continuously engages
in these activities in the fields of rubber, metals, plastics, synthetics,
textiles and chemicals, because while it is true that our products, today,
are superior in quality, we intend to maintain and increase our leadership
in the years ahead.
We believe this is good management, and apparently others think
so too, and we are very proud that last year, a panel of 171 presidents
of foremost American companies voted Firestone one of the ten best-
managed organizations in the United States, based upon marketing
strategy, organizational planning, research and development, the only
rubber company to receive such an honor.
For as long as I can remember, our Company has emphasized safety
in its products, on the highway and in its plants. We participate actively
in campaigns to reduce traffic accidents, to improve highways and to
foster and encourage safe driving habits. And we try to set good exam
ples by practicing safety measures in our plants, which last year compiled
a record of only 1.7 injuries per million man-hours worked, a rate which
is 32 per cent below the rubber industry average of 2.49. Many of our
plants were cited by the National Safety Council for outstanding safety
We extend our appreciation to the men and women in our plants,
offices, stores, warehouses, branches and plantations throughout the
world for their contributions toward making our sixtieth anniversary
year the greatest in our history. We also pay tribute to our worldwide
dealer organization which does such an effective and efficient job of
distributing our products in ever-increasing volume.
* * *
SPEAKING of our fellow-workers, many of them are long-time
members of the Firestone industrial family and nearly 47,000 of them
together with some 113,000 of their dependents are covered by group
insurance. After years of faithful service, more than 2,500 men and
women are now receiving retirement incomes under our pension plan; and
during the past year more than $9,000,000 was paid to our employees
FOR THE SIXTH CONSECUTIVE year, sales
exceeded $1 billion and distribution is constantly being
expanded. Dealers like J. P. Byrne & Co., Syracuse,
sign exclusively with Firestone. At the grand opening,
left to right, R. D. Thomas, E. B. Hathaway, J. P.
Byrne, president and founder of the dealership;
Raymond C. Firestone, Robert Byrne, vice president
and general manager; C. L. Largent, and J. L. Gum
p m wW-V-
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IN NOBLESVILLE, IND., Firestone
Industrial Products is manufacturing
the rubber non-skid pads used on the
base of compact telephones.