TATABANYA, Hungary (April 3, 2008) — Bridgestone Corp. officially has opened its $260 million automated passenger and light truck tire plant in Tatabanya.
The facility will use the Bridgestone Innovative and Rational Development, or BIRD, automated manufacturing technology, and be able to make 8,000 radial passenger and light truck tires daily, Bridgestone said. The plant will focus on producing high-performance and larger rim diameter tires.
Bridgestone Chairman Shoshi Arakawa and Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. Chairman Takashi Urano dedicated the plant April 3. The ceremony was attended by high-ranking Hungarian national, regional and local authorities and other guests, including Abel Garamhegyi, state secretary, ministry of economy and transport.
The plant occupies a 163-acre site in the municipality of Kornye, near Tatabanya, and is the company's first in Europe to employ the BIRD system. The factory is expected to employ only 200 workers at full capacity, Bridgestone said.
The tire maker broke ground on the plant and completed it late last year. Tire production started in January. Its official name is Bridgestone Tatabanya Termelo Kft.