TOKYO (Aug. 2, 2004) — Bridgestone Corp. has inaugurated production at its third tire factory in Thailand, a truck and bus radial plant rated initially at 2,500 tires a day.
The plant, in Chonburi, represents an investment of more than $200 million, Bridgestone said. Capacity will be doubled, to 5,000 tires a day, by year-end 2006, the firm said, and employment is 500 at start-up.
Company and Thai officials held an official opening ceremony July 9, although test production started in May. The output will be exported to the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and other Southeast Asian nations, Bridgestone said.
This latest plant operates as Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary. Bridgestone increased the plant's planned capacity part-way through construction, bumping the investment up more tha 40 percent to the $200-plus million figure.
Tokyo-based Bridgestone's other tire plants in Thailand, in Rangsit/Pathum Thani, and Nong Khae/Saraburi, operate under Thai Bridgestone Co. Ltd., which Bridgestone owns with minority Thai partners.
The Nong Khae plant is being expanded as well, to 28,000 passenger tires a day by year-end from 18,000 at a cost of $80 million, the tire maker said.