TOKYO (Sept. 16)—As the investigation continues into a massive fire that burned in a Bridgestone Corp. tire plant in Japan for nearly two days, the financial impact and timeline for restarting production still are unclear. In a statement Sept. 12, the tire maker said it was waiting for authorization by local officials to resume production at the Tochigi plant. A fire broke out in the plant´s mixing area Sept. 8, was contained Sept. 9 and extinguished the next day. Bridgestone CEO Shigeo Watanabe said preparations were under way to resume production, pending the completion of safety inspections. No further updates were provided, though various media reported the plant had not resumed production Sept. 15. Kunihiro Matsumoto, an analyst with Deutsche Bank Group, estimated Sept. 10 the fire at the Tochigi plant could cause a loss of about $25.7 million for a one-month operation stoppage, assuming the plant generates annual sales of $685 million to $856 million. He said final results may vary. The plant produces passenger, light truck and truck/bus radial tires as well as hard urethane foam and other materials. It has an estimated tire capacity of 22,000 units per day. The plant employs 856 workers.
Financial, production impact of Bridgestone fire unknown
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