Bridgestone buys Chinese plant TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. of Japan has bought 94.5-percent control of a Kumho Industrial Co. Ltd. passenger and light truck tire plant in China for $75 million, expanding its presence in the country.
Bridgestone bought the stake in Tianjin Kumho Tire Co. Ltd. in Tianjin, which it intends to rename Tianjin Bridgestone Tire Co. Ltd.
South Korea's Kumho created the Tianjin Kumho venture in 1995, and spent $120 million over four years to set up a plant with 3.5 million units of annual capacity. The minority share ownership rests with Tianjin Tyre & Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd.
Bridgestone also operates a truck and bus tire plant in China—Shenyang Santai Tire Co. Ltd.—in which it bought a 60-percent interest last July.
Yokohama to consolidate truck tires
TOKYO—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. will phase out production of truck and bus tires at its Hiratsuka, Japan, plant by May 2002, consolidating production of radials at its Mie, Japan, plant and allowing for expansion of non-tire products at Hiratsuka.
The plan also calls for a halt to production of bias-ply truck tires—which now account for up to one-third of the Hiratsuka plant's output—by March 2001, marking the company's exit from that product category altogether.
Capacity for radial truck tires at Mie is being expanded to 5,000 units a day by October, and will expand an additional 20 percent by early 2002 to 6,000 units a day to accommodate the Hiratsuka production, Yokohama said.
The consolidation will leave Yokohama with just two manufacturing sites for steel radial truck tires: Mie and the GTY Tire Co. joint venture in Mount Vernon, Ill.