Firestone Industrial Products Company, LLC (FSIP) today announced that it will close its Noblesville, Ind., air-spring plant after a gradual phase-down of operations. Although the plant closure date has not been finalized, it is expected to occur in the second half of 2009.
“The decision to close the Noblesville plant was especially difficult because we have been part of the Noblesville community for 72 years,” said Mike Cerio, President, FSIP. “But the reality is that the plant is no longer globally competitive.”
The company notified Noblesville teammates and the United Steelworkers (USW) of a potential plant closure in June. As required by its labor contract, the company entered into immediate negotiations with the USW and determined there were no other viable solutions to the problems the plant faces.
The air-spring market is increasingly global, making it difficult for FSIP — the only U.S. manufacturer of air springs — to compete with manufacturers with significantly lower production costs overseas. The Noblesville plant is further disadvantaged by an antiquated facility and equipment.