Bridgestone Opens New Thailand Test Track
January 22 marked the official opening of Bridgestone’s all-new proving ground in Thailand. It is less than two years since Thai Bridgestone Co. Ltd received official from the Thailand Board of Investment to go ahead with construction at the site in Ayutthaya, some 70 kilometres north of Bangkok, and in that time a range of facilities have been built on the 53 hectare site. Amenities include a 3.3 kilometre oval track and a 5-hectare site for testing control, balancing and handling. A wet performance section and a surface course featuring road conditions encountered in various locations around the world has also been constructed to facilitate the development and testing of tyres for other markets.
According to a Bridgestone spokesperson, the 1.7 billion baht (£36.6 million) facility will serve both Bridgestone and other customers, such as vehicle manufacturers. “Tyre development serves the varying needs of customers. The proving ground is a research and development unit for tyre production that will lead to better performance,” said the spokesperson. Thai Bridgestone managing director Masahiro Higashi added that the company aimed to make research and development more efficient so that it could contribute to both new vehicle and tyre development for Asian and the Pacific Rim markets.