TOKYO (Oct. 19, 2005) — Bridgestone Corp. plans to make about $5.2 billion in capital investments during the next three years to help it assert “undisputed leadership in the global tire indusry,” Bridgestone Chairman, CEO and President Shigeo Watanabe told analysts in Tokyo recently.
Speaking at an investors conference prior to the Tokyo Motor Show, Mr. Watanabe said Bridgestone is budgeting $1.75 billion annually for fiscal years 2006-2008. The firm's strategic goals for this period call for a net income margin of 5 percent on sales of $26 billion in 2008 and $28 billion in 2010, based on the current exchange rate.
The firm's investments will support 4-percent annual growth in tire production, Mr. Watanabe said.
In the Americas, Bridgestone projected 10-percent sales growth in both the passenger/light truck and truck/bus tire segments. At the same time Bridgestone will improve the replacement product mix to 40 percent ultra-high-performance tires from 30 percent currently and increase shipments of tires larger than 17-inch to original equipment customers to 60 percent from 30 percent.
Part of Bridgestone's strategy for North America is to source more high-performance tires from plants in South America as well as from the new plant in Mexico that's due on stream in July 2007.
The ultimate goal is to achieve breakeven in North America and then maintain profitability, the company said.