Compiled from Kyodo, AP

Bridgestone Corp. said Monday that Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC, one of its group firms, is considering closing a money-losing plant in Oklahoma at the end of 2006.

Bridgestone Firestone has notified the United Steelworkers union that it may close the Oklahoma City plant because restoring the facility to a competitive position would be difficult due to intensifying global competition, the tire maker said. Bridgestone Firestone is looking to begin negotiations immediately with the union on the possible closure.

Bridgestone, the world’s second-biggest tire maker, said Monday it recorded a 27.2 billion yen profit in the January-March period, up from 26.1 billion yen a year earlier, as strong global sales of tires offset the jump in raw material costs.

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