Bridgestone To Build Third Tyre Plant In China
Bridgestone has announced a US$99 million project to build a tyre factory in the city of Wuxi, Jiangsu province. This will be the Japanese company’s third tyre factory in China and the first to be a wholly-owned subsidiary, known as Bridgestone (Wuxi) Tyre Co. Ltd.
The plant will produce 8,000 passenger car radials a day, aimed at both the growing domestic market (OE and replacement) and for export. Around 550 will be employed on the 24 hectare site and production will begin in September 2004. The Wuxi factory will be Bridgestone’s 47th plant in 23 countries.
Bridgestone owns majority interests in its two other factories in China and also plans investments in these to boost production. Around US$50.86 million will be invested in the truck and bus tyre factory in Shenyang, which will almost triple annual tyre production to one million units by April 2004.
US$8.48 million will be invested in the car tyre plant at Tianjing, which will allow production to be increased by 40 per cent to 4.6 million tyres a year.
The news of the new factory caps a remarkable comeback by Bridgestone from the Firestone recall saga – 2002 net profits were up 161 per cent – and underlines the Japanese company’s global expansion ambitions. Shares in Bridgestone rose 0.84 per cent at the news; almost double the average Nikkei stock market rise of 0.