Bridgestone Officially Opens Steel Cord Plant in China
Bridgestone Corporation officially opened Bridgestone (Shenyang) Steel Cord Co, Ltd, in Liaoning Province, China. Bridgestone invested US$94.3 million in the construction of the plant, which began producing steel cord for truck and bus radial tyres in August this year. Production capacity is projected to reach 70 tons per day by the end of 2007.
About 100 people attended the opening ceremony, including Chinese government and municipal officials such as Song Qi, deputy mayor of Shenyang. Heading the Bridgestone contingent were Masaharu Oku, the board of directors, vice president and senior officer responsible for tyre production and distribution, Hiromichi Odagiri, vice president and senior officer, chief representative of Bridgestone tyre operations in China, Kaoru Fujioka, vice president and officer in charge of steel cord, and various other plant officials.
“It is very rare for an organisation to have three separate companies – Bridgestone (Shenyang) Steel Cord Co, Ltd, Shenyang Bridgestone Co, Ltd and Bridgestone (Shenyang) Tire Co, Ltd – in the same region,” explained Oku in his address at the opening ceremony. “This demonstrates the close relationship and deep trust between Shenyang City and Bridgestone. Going forward, we will strengthen this bond and strive to further contribute to the development of Shenyang City and Liaoning Province.”
This is Bridgestone Group’s sixth steel cord plant worldwide. It joins the Kuroiso and Saga Plants in Japan, the Clarksville Plant in the US, the Cagliari Plant in Italy and the Rayong Plant in Thailand. A seventh plant in Huizhou, China is currently under construction.
Expanding in-house production capacity in raw materials for tyres and for diversified products is a strategic priority in the Bridgestone Group. For example, Bridgestone Group companies produce synthetic rubber in the US and carbon black in Japan and Thailand. Bridgestone Group companies also operate rubber plantations in Indonesia and in Liberia.