Grits with Sushi

Japanese tires in Tennessee

Most American workers consider competition from Japanese imports at east partly responsible for pushing U.S. industry into its worst downturn since the Great Depression. But last week a group of grateful blue-collar workers in LaVergne, Tenn., a tiny factory town outside Nashville, welcomed the Japanese as saviors. Bridgestone Tire Co. of Japan bought LaVergne's truck-tire plant from Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. for $52 million. In a ceremony to mark the occasion, Satoshi Kishimoto, a Bridgestone executive who will be the plant's general manager, greeted 200 of his new...

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