Bridgestone to Start Steel Cord Production in China
The Asia Times is reporting that Bridgestone Corp has announced that it will begin production of high-carbon steel cord in China next autumn. The company will invest about $90 million, to set up a factory in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, in order to meet growing demand there.
Earlier this month, Bridgestone set up a wholly owned Chinese production firm. The company plans to have 260 employees producing 0.1mm to 0.3mm steel for use in truck and bus tyres, by the end of 2007. Until now Bridgestone has imported two-thirds of its steel cord from Bridgestone factories in Japan, including one in Kuroiso, Tochigi Prefecture, and the rest from manufacturers in China. Bridgestone aims to cut costs and distribution expenses, by producing its own steel cord in China.
The new steel cord plant will service the company’s Wu Xi truck and bus radial plant, which is reported to have a daily output of 3000 pieces.
Bridgestone announcement to produce steel cord in China comes after announced that it would expand its production plant in Clarksville, USA. This announcement, made in August, referred to a subsidiary of the Nashville-based, Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. Bridgestone Americas is one of the world’s largest producers of steel cord.