SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (July 11, 2002) – Bridgestone/Firestone will invest $40 million over the next two years to modernize and expand its plant in San Jose to more than double daily capacity to more than 13,500 units. The added capacity – 8,000 13-, 14- and 15-inch radial passenger tires per day – primarily will be for export to the U.S., Bridgestone/Firestone said.
The expansion will create 400 new jobs, increasing employment at the 35-year-old facility to 1,000, the company said. The expansion includes a provision to operate the plant continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The unit's strategic location, track record of quality and efficiency and Costa Rica's social, political and economic stability all played roles in Bridgestone/Firestone's decision to invest, said Alejandro CortÃ&Copy;s, sales and marketing director of Exportadora Firestone de Centro AmÃ&Copy;rica, a subsidiary of Bridgestone/Firestone de Costa Rica S.A.
The additional business and increased employment will generate about $10 million a year to the Costa Rican economy, the company said.
The company laid a cornerstone July 11 for the project at a ceremony attended by Costa Rican President Abel Pacheco and other local dignitaries, along with Mark Emkes, president of the Latin American operations of Bridgestone Firestone Americas Holding, and John Jenkins, president of Bridgestone/Firestone de Costa Rica.