TOKYO (Nov. 17) — Bridgestone Corp. will build a $14 million technical center in Wuxi, China, to support its growing production and sales base in that country.
The new research and development center, to be operational by July 2006, will be Bridgestone´s fourth worldwide, joining R&D centers in Tokyo, Akron and Rome.
One of the new center´s primary responsibilities will be to evaluate the quality and applicability of raw materials being supplied to the group´s tire plants in China, Bridgestone said, especially those coming from Chinese suppliers. The center will support Bridgestone´s objective of creating a consistent system from development to production and sales to enable quick response to the diverse needs in the Chinese market.
The center, Bridgestone (China) Research & Development Co. Ltd., will be built next to Bridgestone´s passenger tire plant in Wuxi, with about 20 employees at start-up.
Bridgestone also is building a tire proving ground in China, in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, at a cost of about $25 million over the next two years.
Bridgestone´s production base in China includes passenger tire plants in Tianjin and Wuxi, a truck/bus tire facility and a steel cord plant in Shenyang and another truck/bus tire factory under construction in Huizhou.
Going forward, Bridgestone aims to strengthen its local R&D capabilities in line with rapid advancements in motorization in China.