KOLKATA, India (Nov. 18, 2009)—Bridgestone Corp. plans to invest $56.3 million in its car and light truck tire plant in India to boost capacity 40 percent as it gears up to increase its share of the growing market for consumer radial tires in India.
“The Indian market is our top priority in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Yoshihiro Tanabe, Asia Pacific general manager for consumer marketing department. “We are going to put more focus on the Indian market than ever and are considering and discussing many possibilities for expansion.”
The expansion project at its plant in Kheda, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh State, will boost capacity to 15,000 tires a day by mid-2010. The expansion will create 300 jobs, Bridgestone said.
“The global meltdown has not affected India as much as it hurt the Western economies,” said Vaibhav Saraf, senior deputy general manager for marketing, Bridgestone India Pvt. Ltd. “Demand is growing and so we want to capture more than one-third of its passenger car market by 2012.”
The company also plans to expand its dealership network by more than 10 percent in the next three years to about 2,300.
Bridgestone India set up its base in India in February 1996 and set up the factory two years later.