TOKYO (April 12, 2013) — Bridgestone Corp. has selected a site in central Russia for a $375 million passenger radial tire plant it will build over the coming three years in partnership with Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corp.
The new plant, in the Zavolzhye Industrial Zone in Russia's Ulyanovsk Oblast region, will be Bridgestone's first in Russia and 47th worldwide. Bridgestone has secured a 200-acre site for the plant in the Zavolzhye Zone, roughly 560 miles southeast of Moscow.
The plant is scheduled to come on stream in the first half of 2016, with a rated capacity of 12,000 units a day, predominantly winter tires. Bridgestone expects to achieve full capacity by the second half of 2018. Employment at full capacity will be 800.
Bridgestone and Mitsubishi have established Bridgestone Tire Manufacturing C.I.S. L.L.C. to operate the plant. Bridgestone will own 90 percent of the joint venture.
Bridgestone said it decided to build this plant in order meet growing demand in Russia and the Commonwealth of Indepenent States, which together have a population of about 300 million inhabitants. New vehicle sales in the region have shown strong growth, the company said, which should result in strong demand for tires.
In connection with the decision to build a tire plant, Mitsubishi Corp. will buy a 20-percent stake in Bridgestone C.I.S. L.L.C., the tire company's Moscow-based sales company. The change will leave Bridgestone C.I.S. with a capital of about $180 million.
Bridgestone is the sixth international tire company to choose to build a plant in Russia. It joins Continental A.G. (Kaluga); Group Michelin (Davydovo); Nokian Tyres P.L.C. (Vsevolozhsk); and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (Liptesk) with plants in Russia.
Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. also has manufacturing in Russia via a joint venture covering plants in Kirov and Voronezh.