BRUSSELS — Bridgestone Corp. is idling tire plants in France and Italy, and scaling back production at plants in Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Spain in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bridgestone plants in Bethune, France, and Bari, Italy, will be closed until April 6, Bridgetone said.
Meanwhile, tire plants in Bilbao, Puente San Miguel and Burgos, Spain; Stargard and Poznan, Poland; and Tatabanya, Hungary, will operate with reduced capacity. A retread materials factory in Lanklaar, Belgium, also will reduce operations.
The French and Italian plants have roughly 1,750 employees together, while the remaining European factories have about 6,500 together.
Bridgestone said it is making changes to align its supply with predicted demand in the current market. The company has sufficient product supply to meet customer demand, and its distribution centers, plant warehouses and logistics teams will continue to fill orders.
The company will continue to evaluate the situation on a need basis.
At the locations that remain operational, Bridgestone said it is taking the appropriate preventive measures in accordance with its protocols for the prevention of occupational hazards, and strictly following the guidance and recommendations of the health authorities in all its work centers.
In addition, thorough procedures and checklists to ensure safety in the workplace have been put in place.
Bridgestone said its chief priority during this unprecedented time is to ensure the well-being and safety of its employees and the integrity of its operations.
These moves come a few days after Bridgestone Americas announced plans to suspend production at its factories in North America and Latin America from March 21 through or before April 12.