TOKYO (Jan. 28, 2005) — Bridgestone Corp. will build a $220 million passenger/light truck tire plant in Mexico over the coming two-and-a-half years that will use the firm's proprietary automated “BIRD” manufacturing system.
The plant, in Monterrey, will be capable of 8,000 tires a day, Bridgestone said. Due on stream in July 2007, the plant will focus on high-, ultrahigh-performance and large rim diameter tires primarily for North American markets, the company said.
The plant will be the first outside of Japan to use the BIRD — Bridgestone Innovative and Rational Development – system, which automates all production stages from initial processing of materials to final inspection of the finished tires. BIRD also is capable of producing several different types and sizes of tires simultaneously.
The plant will employ only about 200, Bridgestone said.
The first full production installation of the BIRD system occurred earlier this year at Bridgestone's plant in Hikone, Japan.
The plant, Bridgestone's third in Mexico, will complement Bridgestone Firestone de MÃ&Copy;xico S.A. de C.V. plants in Mexico City and Cuernavaca. It will be Bridgestone's 49th tire plant worldwide.