TOKYO (Aug. 9)—Bridgestone Corp. is boosting the scope of a capacity expansion at its Chonburi, Thailand, truck and bus tire plant, budgeting $159 million to raise daily output to 7,500 units by the first half of 2008.
The project includes expanding capacity for steel cord at its nearby Rayong, Thailand, factory.
The Chonburi plant was brought on stream a year ago and already is undergoing a doubling of capacity to 5,000 units a day by year-end 2006. The initial construction and first-phase expansion represent investments of more than $200 million.
Bridgestone said the expansion is in response to growing global demand for radial truck and bus tires. It expects to break ground this year on new buildings.
The Rayong steel cord plant will be expanded about six-fold to 107 metric tons daily.
Chonburi operates as Bridgestone Tyre Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary. Bridgestone's other tire factories in Thailand, in Rangsit and Nong Khae districts, operate under another subsidiary, Thai Bridgestone Co. Ltd.