SANTO ANDRÃ, Brazil (Dec. 15)—Bridgestone Corp. will spend more than $260 million in Brazil over the coming two years to build a passenger and light truck tire plant in Camacari and modernize an existing plant in Santo Andre/Sao Paulo.
The new plant, in Brazil´s Bahia state, is expected to come on stream in late 2006 with a capacity of about 8,000 passenger and light truck tires per day initially, Bridgestone said. It represents an investment of more than $160 million.
"This substantial new investment is evidence of our optimism in the strength of the Brazilian economy and our belief in our Brazilian teammates," said Jorge Gonzalez, president, Bridgestone Firestone Latin American Operations, Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., in a prepared statement.
Bridgestone will carry out the projects through its Bridgestone Firestone do Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda. (BFBR) subsidiary, which cited Bahia´s "strong industrial infrastructure" for its selection as the new plant´s site. The expanded capacity will serve growing demand in Latin America.
The new plant will use state-of-the-art production technologies and is expected to create more than 500 new manufacturing jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs in the region, BFBR said.
The company also will invest more than $100 million to modernize the 64-year-old Santo AndrÃ&Copy; passenger, truck/bus, agricultural and off-road tire plant. The plant produces more than 30,000 tires per day, but BFBR did not indicate what capacity would be after the modernization.
The projects will increase BFBR's capacity by roughly 25 percent, the firm said.