Bridgestone increasing consumer tyre capacity in Brazil
Around US$63 million is to be invested in Bridgestone’s Camaçari tyre plant in Brazil in order to increase capacity for manufacturing passenger car and light truck radials there. Work to expand the factory is expected to be completed in time for a start of increased production in May 2015, and from that date the Camaçari plant will be equipped to deliver an additional 2,100 tyres a day, giving the facility a total production capacity in excess of 10,000 tyres a day. Almost 100 new jobs will be created at the site in Bahia state as a result of the expansion.
“We are investing in key market segments and the growing ultra-high performance and light truck/SUV tyres categories will be the first to benefit from this capacity expansion,” said Ariel Depascuali, president, Bridgestone do Brasil Industria e Comercio Ltda. “Over the long-term the versatility and flexibility of the Bahia plant will help the company address direct customer needs by improving fill rates of these tyres.”
Bridgestone says expanding tyre production in Bahia enhances the growth of the local automotive industry which, with record vehicle sales across Brazil, is expected to continue an upward trend for the next five years. “New auto plants from new entrants, continued investment from auto companies already operating in Brazil and the government’s Inovar Auto Program (an October 2012-approved tax-related incentive scheme that aims to encourage innovation in vehicle technology) are indications that this market has much potential. Both the original equipment market and the aftermarket will likely remain heated,” commented Lino Beltrami Neto, industrial director of Bridgestone’s Bahia plant.
This latest investment follows the October groundbreaking on expansion work at the company’s agricultural radial factory in Santo André, Brazil. Bridgestone intends to invest more than $14 million to double production capacity there to 60 tyres a day by July 2015. The investment will enable Bridgestone to build higher performance radial tyres to meet increasing demand, satisfy heavier load requirements and address the need to minimise soil compaction. The company will initially enable the addition of six new agricultural radials in its production mix.