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Are Bridgestone & Ford Making-Up?

November 21, 2001 - The Fords and the Firestones probably won't be having Thanksgiving dinner together, but they do appear to be in the process of making up. There are reports that one of the first tasks assigned to newly named Ford COO Nick Scheele was to meet with Bridgestone CEO Shigeo Watanabe. The two are reported to have met in Hawaii and while the nature of their talks has not been revealed, sources say a second meeting is being planned.

Their meetings will likely deal with two issues: saving face and saving money. Ford will have to receive some remuneration from Bridgestone for the tires that it recalled on its own. The Japanese, in turn, need to put a shine back on a tarnished Firestone reputation.

Look for a special new Firestone tire to be supplied to Ford for its Explorer SUV. Ford will make a fuss over the quality of the tire. Firestone will supply them for free, or at least highly discounted prices.