BETHUNE, France (July 17, 2008) — Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. has completed a $50 million expansion at its Bethune, France, passenger tire plant, adding capacity for 1,000 high-performance tires a day.
The production line will focus on Bridgestone's latest generation ultra-high-performance and winter passenger tires, Bridgestone said, reflecting a demand shift in Europe to lower profile, larger rim-sized tires.
The 47,345-sq.-ft. expansion, commissioned at a ceremony July 4, will create 50 jobs at the 1,250-plus employee plant, the company said.
Before the expansion, annual capacity at the 48-year-old Bethune plant was listed as 25,000 tires a day. Bridgestone Europe operates seven plants—in France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Hungary—and has an eighth factory under construction in Poland.