Bridgestone breaks ground in Hungary
TATABANYA, Hungary-Bridgestone Corp. has broken ground for its $243 million passenger and light truck tire plant in Tatabanya, which will use the firm's BIRD (Bridgestone Innovative & Rational Development) tire-making process.
The plant, to be operated by Bridgestone Hungary Manufacturing Ltd., is due on stream by year-end 2007 with production scheduled to reach more than 8,000 tires a day by 2009.
Tatabanya is a town of 70,000 about 35 miles east of Budapest.
Hankook starts building $625M Hungary factory
DUNAUJVAROS, Hungary-South Korean tire maker Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has broken ground on in its $625 million car and light truck tire plant in Dunaujvaros.
Hankook expects to start production at the plant by the second half of 2007 and reach full capacity of 10 million units a year by 2010.
Hankook only recently received word of $116.5 million in aid from the European Commission for the project.
The factory is being built on a 138-acre site located about 40 miles south of Budapest.
Amtel-Vredestein acquires Moscow Tyre
MOSCOW-Amtel-Vredestein N.V. has agreed to acquire Moscow Tyre Plant (MTP) through its Russian subsidiary Amtel-Vredestein OJSC and plans to bring the recently modernized facility to full capacity of 2.2 million tires per year-from about 30 percent currently-as soon as possible.
Amtel-Vredestein said it expects Moscow Tyre to generate sales of $66 million to $88 million a year at full capacity.
While closing terms of the deal have not yet been finalized, Amtel-Vredestein said it expected to take on debt to finance the acquisition.
The MTP plant in Dubrovskaya, which produces the popular Taganka tire brand, was modernized in 2004 and 2005 through a $40 million joint venture with Germany's Continental A.G., which since has been dissolved.
The older premises will be managed by Amtel-Vredestein until December 2007, after which time the Moscow municipal government will take control and redevelop the site.
Bridgestone to upgrade its plant in Costa Rica
TOKYO-Bridgestone Corp. is investing $10 million per year over the next five years to upgrade the production capability of its plant in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Much of the production is intended for the local and Latin American markets, a spokeswoman said, though some will be available for North America. BFS sourced 2.51 million passenger tires from Costa Rica last year, a 17.4-percent jump over 2004.
The Costa Rica plant produces passenger, light truck and truck and bus tires. Bridgestone/Firestone invested $40 million in 2002 and 2003 to modernize and expand the San Jose plant to boost daily capacity to 12,000 units.
Hankook expanding its presence in China
JIAXING China-Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. is boosting its presence in China, opening a research and development center, expanding capacity at its two existing plants and extending its sales network.
Hankook, which claims a 25-percent share of the Chinese replacement passenger tire market, recently opened the R&D center to help it develop products optimized for the Chinese market and provide original equipment (OE) support to global car makers operating in China.
The tire maker built the center on a 463,000-sq.-ft. plot of land near its Jiaxing plant. It did not quantify its investment in the center, which has 90 employees.
In addition, Hankook said it intends to expand the Jiaxing plant by an undisclosed amount during the second half of this year. The firm only recently brought on stream an expansion there that brought annual capacity to 2.5 million units.
The newly disclosed expansion project will boost Hankook's annual capacity in China to 28 million units at plants in Jiaxing and Jiangsu.
Much of the output from the Jiaxing expansion is earmarked for OE customers. Hankook said it is the No. 1 OE supplier in China.
Hankook's Chinese operations recorded $560 million in sales, according to the company, and $78 million in operating profits last year.