MEXICO CITY-Bridgestone Firestone de Mexico S.A. de C.V. will close its Mexico City tire plant in the second half of 2008 because of an inability to make desired expansions and a lease that´s ending, the company said.
The Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. subsidiary said the plant, situated in a metropolitan location, is surrounded by commercial and residential development. Additionally, much of the plant´s land is leased from three owners, and one has decided not to renew the lease and instead is selling the property.
Expansion of the plant is critical to the facility´s future profitability through the production of more technologically sophisticated and market-demand driven products, the company said.
The plant builds primarily bias-ply tires for light truck and truck/bus lines.
The Mexico City facility employs 145 full-time hourly and 30 salaried employees. Many workers will be eligible to retire.
Ariel DePascuali, president of the Mexican subsidiary, said while the company found it necessary to close the Mexico City plant, the recently completed expansion of its Cuernavaca facility and the opening of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Monterrey accentuates the firm´s commitment to investment in Mexico.