NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- Firestone Industrial Products Co. will phase out its air-spring manufacturing operation at Noblesville and close the plant probably sometime in the second half of 2009, the company said.
"The decision to close the Noblesville plant was especially difficult because we have been part of the Noblesville community for 72 years," Firestone Industrial President Mike Cerio said Tuesday. "But the reality is that the plant is no longer globally competitive."
Firestone Industrial is a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Bridgestone Firestone Diversified Products.
The company said in June it would consider closing the central Indiana plant because of competition from foreign markets and filed notice with the United Steelworkers union, which represents about 250 of the 300 employees at the plant.
As required by its labor contract, the company began negotiating with the union but determined closure was the only viable alternative, Cerio said.