Lassa producer Brisa investing US$117.5 million to expand tyre capacity in 2012

Brisa, the company producing Lassa brand tyres in a joint venture between Bridgestone and the Sabanci Group, has announced it will invest US$117.5 million expanding its tyre manufacturing units in Izmit, Turkey. The investment figure exceeds the $110 million of investment that was reported at the start of April.

“This is the largest investment ever in our company’s history, about which we are very excited. The production capacity expansion at our production facility in Izmit is primarily intended to meet the growing demand in both local and export markets as well as reinforcing Lassa’s commitment to becoming a global brand,” said Hakan Bayman, general manager of Brisa.

Brisa’s net profit has reportedly increased by 126 per cent over the past four years. Full year 2011 sales increased by 35 per cent and revenues increased by 37.5 per cent to about 1.5 billion Turkish lira (£523.176 million; 639.270 million euros; US$838.557 million). Brisa also reports a 47 per cent increase from 2008 to 2011 in the share of export revenues in overall sales proceeds, an indication of the importance the company attaches to international markets and to its brand, Lassa.

Halit Şensoy, international sales and marketing director of Brisa stated: “At Lassa and Brisa, our customer-focused efforts to offer the best quality tyres that will satisfy  the varying performance, safety and value demands of customers in different countries, form the backbone of our company. As we continue to grow, we will also continue to remain true to our brand commitment to our local and international customers.”

Lassa, manufactures and sells a wide range of consumer and commercial tyres in over 50 countries worldwide together with 74 international partners at 5,000 points of sale.  Equipped with state-of-the-art design and production technologies, the İzmit production facility has its own dedicated research and development centre, which works in close cooperation with Bridgestone’s technical centres in Rome and Tokyo. The facility currently employs more than 2,000 people. Over 600 varieties of tyres are produced for automobiles, light commercial vehicles, buses/trucks, agricultural and off the road vehicles.

In addition to the Brisa investment in tyre production capacity, Sabanci is also investing the groups tyre cord manufacturing operation totalling some US$130 million. According to Mehmet Pekarun head of Sabanci’s Tire, Tire Reinforcement and Automotive Group, these two investments are being undertaken as part of an overall investment programme.

Kordsa Global operates 11 facilities in nine countries, and last year the company produced 171,000 tonnes of tyre cord, fabric and yarn, a four per cent year-on-year increase on 2010. Brisa tyre sales reached 150,000 tonnes in 2011, up six per cent on a year earlier.

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