TOKYO (Jan. 11, 2005) — Bridgestone Corp. is evaluating investment possibilities in new tire plants in China and eastern Europe, but company officials emphasize the proposed projects are subject to local government approval and other factors.
Bridgestone confirmed Asian media reports that the Chinese project, if approved, would be in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, but declined to comment further on details at this time. If approved, the plant would be Bridgestone's fourth in China, where only recently it established Bridgestone (China) Investment Co. Ltd. in Shanghai to manage its growing tire operations in that nation.
Bridgestone operates tire plants in Wuxi, Tianjin and Shenyang and is building a steel-cord factory in Shenyang.
Regarding eastern Europe, Bridgestone said it still is evaluating its options regarding a plant there. It operates a plant in Poznan, Poland, and is a minority shareholder in Nokian Tyres P.L.C., which is building a plant in Russia.
Bridgestone declined to comment on Asian media reports that the projects would represent investments of about $475 million. By comparison, Bridgestone invested $99 million over two years in its newest plant in China, a radial passenger tire plant in Wuxi that opened last fall.