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New warehouse in BFNT's future, says Gamauf

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Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT) has a new mantra, says John Gamauf, president of North American consumer replacement tires. It is, "We do not fear change, we welcome it."

At a drive-and-learn event held for BFNT retailers and media (see related item), he said changes in tire sizes, speed ratings and tire size proliferation all present new challenges to dealers.

For an example, the Rubber Manufacturers Association currently recognizes 1,740 tire sizes. So "you're going to have to look at how you'll handle your inventory needs," he said.

He says BFNT is addressing its own challenges, including getting product from U.S. ports in a timely manner. Port backups -- especially around Christmas -- and hurricanes wreak havoc on deliveries, and so the company is looking at building a warehouse in a "storm protected" area on the East Coast in the near future.

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