Bridgestone gets China base TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. has acquired majority ownership of the Chinese tire maker Shenyang Santai Tire Co. Ltd., giving the Japanese tire maker its long-sought-after Chinese manufacturing base.
Bridgestone paid nearly $22 million for a 60-percent share of Shenyang Santai, which makes radial truck and bus tires at a plant in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. The 4-year-old plant, engineered originally by Pirelli S.p.A., has annual capacity for 200,000 units, but output last year was 140,000 tires, Bridgestone said.
Bridgestone acquired its stake indirectly, buying 81.6 percent of the company that owns the majority (73.5 percent) of Shenyang Santai—MB Enterprise Co. Ltd., a Tokyo subsidiary of the Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. Ltd.
Shenyang Santai now produces under the ``Peace Dove'' brand, but Bridgestone will convert the capacity to its own brand ``in a few years.'' Bridgestone declined to comment on what it expects to invest in the 1.76 million-sq.-ft. plant or whether it will use the factory to make tires for export.—By Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff.
Unsafe tires on 9% of cars
WELLINGTON, New Zealand—A recent tire check campaign conducted by police in New Zealand found that nearly one in 10 motorists was driving on unsafe tires, according to a New Zealand Press Association report.
During the "Going Bald Can Kill" tire campaign, conducted in April and May (autumn in New Zealand), police checked tires on 20,660 vehicles and found 1,892—9.2 percent—to have one or more unsafe tires, the report said.