Better late than never: Bridgestone opens Thailand OTR plant
A ceremony was held yesterday to mark the official opening of Bridgestone’s new OTR tyre factory in Thailand, marking the conclusion of a long and at times less than certain construction and preparation programme. The ceremony was attended by Bridgestone Group executives as well as members of the Board of Investment, Thailand, Rayong Province, and Japanese Embassy.
Located in Rayong Province, the 870,000 square metre Bridgestone Specialty Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. plant has a daily production capacity of approximately 35 tonnes. The factory is the company’s first facility producing radial tyres for construction and mining vehicles in an Asian country other than Japan, and has thus been positioned as one of the company’s global supply bases.
Bridgestone says it is “committed to developing systems that will allow it to supply high-quality products matched to customer needs in a timely manner while responding appropriately to changes in demand.” The new factory will play a role here, enabling the company to “construct a production and supply system that can furnish flexible responses to medium- to long-term changes in demand.”
The opening of the plant continues a 53-year history of business in Thailand. During this time Bridgestone has built up an operating base and network within the country, and says the addition of a manufacturing presence to this network will enable it to make greater contributions to Thailand’s economic and industrial development.
“We will strive to contribute to Thailand and local communities by developing high-quality and high-value-add tires for our customers based on Bridgestone Group’s mission of ‘serving society with superior quality’,” said Masahiro Higashi, senior vice president and executive officer of Bridgestone Corporation, during the opening event.
Work on the factory began with a stone laying ceremony on 29 April 2013. At the time, Bridgestone anticipated a start of production in the first half of 2015 and capacity reaching 85 tonnes a day by the first half of 2019. However, in mid-2014 the company announced a postponement of the plant’s start of production in response to declining demand for mining tyres.