SAO PAULO, Brazil—Bridgestone Corp. is budgeting $140 million to modernize and expand capacity at its car and light truck tire plant in Camacari, Brazil, by more than 20 percent.
The project is designed to help meet increasing demand for high-tech and premium tires in the country, Bridgestone said, and to support "important" gains in market share in South America.
Work on the expansion will begin by the fourth quarter and is expected to create 420 new jobs in the region, including both permanent and temporary positions, Bridgestone said.
Capacity at the 15-year-old factory is listed as 9,800 units a day. Employment is shown as more than 900.
"This investment is part of Bridgestone's mid-term business plan for sustainable growth in Brazil, focused on the premium tires market and production of tires for electric/hybrid vehicles, and reinforces our commitment and the strategic importance of Brazil for our company," Fabio Fossen, president of Bridgestone Latin America South, said.
The project would see annual production at the plant increase to 4.3 million tires from 3.5 million, Bridgestone said, with new manufacturing technologies and the increasing application of Industry 4.0 concepts. The factory is geared heavily for original equipment supply, the company added.
The expansion will include manufacturing assets geared toward the production of higher-performing tires for electric/hybrid vehicles, in line with the company's vision "to generate social and customer value."
The Camacari plant is one of two tire factories Bridgestone do Brasil Ind. E Com. Ltda. operates in Brazil. The other is a multi-product factory in Santo Andre, Sao Paulo. The company also operates a pair of Bandag retread production plants in Campinas, Sao Paulo, and in Mafra, Santa Catarina.