TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. will suspend production of tires in Russia and halt exports to the country in response to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Bridgestone stopping production in Russia
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The company said March 14 it will stop production at the passenger car tire plant in Ulyanovsk, Russia, by March 18, "after the necessary preparations."
It also will immediately freeze any new capital investment at the facility and halt exports of tires to Russia.
"We condemn any form of violence and hope that peace can quickly be re-established. Our primary concern in this crisis, is the safety of our employees and their families," the company said.
The product portfolio includes tires with standard sizes ranging from 13- to 19-inches for cars, CUVs and SUVs, as well as tires homologated for supply to auto makers as original equipment.
Bridgestone's decision to halt operations in Russia comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens to nationalize assets of companies that have left the country.
Bridgestone said the Russian operation contributes 2 percent of the group's total annual revenue.
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In addition, Bridgestone said it donated $2.7 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as well as more than $1 million to the Red Cross.
"The last two weeks have transformed the world with more than 2.5 million people having already fled their homes," the company said. "Many of our employees have participated in spontaneous volunteer activities to support the refugees from Ukraine. ... And we will continue to evaluate how we can help alleviate the humanitarian crisis."
Bridgestone joins Michelin, Continental A.G. and Nokian Tyres P.L.C., as tire makers who have halted or adjusted production in Russia in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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