TOKYO (Aug. 8, 2011)—Bridgestone Corp. will invest $251 million to raise passenger tire capacity at plants in Tianjin and Wuxi, China, in response to rising Chinese demand for its tires.
The two projects will add capacity for 12,900 units a day, Bridgestone said, and will take place over the next nine to 12 months.
The plans include expanded capacities for eco-friendly tires, such as the firm's Ecopoia line, as well as initiating local production of winter tires.
Bridgestone said parallel with the expansions it is developing systems to enhance its “speed to market,” which will improve its ability to meet the product needs of customers in China in a timely manner.
At the 14-year-old Tianjin plant, Bridgestone will invest $163.7 million to boost daily capacity 53.3 percent to 25,300 units by July 2012. The firm did not say if the project will require enlarging the 2.69 million-sq.-ft. plant physically, nor did it comment on the effect on employment, which stands at 1,391.
The expansion plan at the seven-year-old Wuxi plant, to boost capacity 33.6 percent to 16,300 tires a day by May 2012, will require an investment of $87.4 million, Bridgestone said.
The firm did not comment on the project's effect on employment—1,078 currently—or the size of the plant.