TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. is closing down an automotive seat pads production plant in Japan as part of a move to improve production efficiency of the products and increase profitability.
The tire and rubber group is currently manufacturing automotive seat pads across four production sites in Japan, said Bridgestone in an Oct. 8 statement. Of the four sites, three are owned by Bridgestone Chemitech (BSCT), and one is owned by Bridgestone Diversified Chemical Products (BDCP).
The decision will see BSCT's production facility in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, closing in the fourth quarter of 2023, and BSCT's other two units in Nabari and Hofu, as well as BDCP's plant in Tosu, will continue the production of the automotive parts as part of a consolidation.
The 63 "highly skilled" employees impacted by the decision will continue to work in other parts of BSCT, Bridgestone said, adding that the initiative was part of the group's global expense and cost structure review established in its mid-term business plan (2021-23), which was unveiled in February.
The Japanese group expects 'minor impact' from the decision on its financial results for 2021, according to the news release.
According to its website, Bridgestone has been manufacturing seat pads, made from polyurethane materials, since 1968, and currently supplies parts from a total of 11 plants in five countries.