TATABANYA, Hungary—Bridgestone Europe officials have dismissed reports that the company was significantly delaying a planned expansion of its tire production facility in Hungary as inaccurate.
In June 2013, Bridgestone announced a nearly $289 million expansion of the Tatabanya plant to boost capacity to around 6.5 million tires per year, or about 18,000 tires a day.
The plant manufactures premium radial tires for passenger cars, including run-flat and UHP tires. The expansion was scheduled to be completed during the first half of 2017 and create over 500 new jobs.
Asked about reports that the project was being delayed by up three years, Jake Romsholt, managing director of Bridgestone Europe's consumer business unit, said that “there had been no reassessment and [the project] is approximately on time.”
A Bridgestone spokesman said reports about a delay were likely based on a misinterpretation of a Hungarian press release intended to highlight the employment opportunities at the new facility.
Meanwhile, Romsholt, who has speaking just after the Jan. 19 launch of the company's DriveGuard extended mobility tire in Nice, France, went on to say that the Hungary plant was “part of the possibilities” as a site for the production of the new tire.
The European version of DriveGuard is currently being manufactured solely at Bridgestone's Poznan facility in Poland, with a variant for the North American market being supplied from Japan.