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Goodyear wants $200 million expansion at TC Debica plant in Poland

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is asking Polish tire company TC Debica -- in which it is the majority shareholder -- to nearly triple its commercial tire production for Goodyear, from 1,700 to 5,000 tires per day, to meet the increasing demand for technically advanced, high-quality commercial truck tires in Europe.

Goodyear has had a majority ownership interest in TC Debica, Poland's largest tiremaker, since 1995.

TC Debica's management board will decide whether to make the necessary investment to expand production there. Goodyear estimates that the expansion would require an investment of more than $200 million. The investment, which would likely involve assistance from Polish national and regional authorities, would create 350 to 400 new jobs at TC Debica.

The expansion, if approved, would be made adjacent to the existing factory in Debica, located in southern Poland. TC Debica currently employs 2,500 at the plant.

"This additional capacity would make TC Debica one of our largest suppliers of tires in the world," says Michel Rzonzef, president of Goodyear's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa countries. "Goodyear, of course, will share the necessary technology and expertise to assure that TC Debica is producing the highest-quality and most advanced commercial truck tires possible."

The majority of the tires currently produced at the plant are sold to Goodyear or Goodyear affiliates, and are sold under the Goodyear, Debica, Dunlop, Fulda and Sava brands.

Previously, TC Debica and Goodyear announced in April 2007 a more limited proposal to increase truck tire production at Debica with an $8.5 million investment. That project is continuing and will be in addition to the expansion plans announced today.

In addition, Goodyear currently produces truck tires at European plants in Luxembourg, Germany and Turkey.

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