TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. is evaluating investment possibilities in new tire plants in China and Eastern Europe, but company officials emphasize the proposed projects are subject to local government approval and other factors.
Bridgestone confirmed Asian media reports that the Chinese project, if approved, would be in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, but declined to comment further on details. If approved, the facility would be Bridgestone´s fourth in China, where it recently established Bridgestone (China) Investment Co. Ltd. in Shanghai to manage its growing tire operations in that nation.
Bridgestone makes passenger tires at factories in Wuxi and Tianjin and truck and bus radials at a plant in Shenyang, and it´s building a $94 million steel-cord facility in Shenyang.
The company said it still is evaluating its options regarding a plant in Eastern Europe. It operates a facility in Poznan, Poland, and is a minority shareholder in Nokian Tyres P.L.C., which is building a factory in Russia.
Asian media reports said the projects represent investments of about $475 million, but Bridgestone wouldn´t confirm that figure. The company spent $99 million over two years in its newest plant in China, a radial passenger tire operation in Wuxi that opened last fall, and more recently disclosed it will invest $160 million in a new truck tire factory in Brazil.