SAO PAULO, Brazil — Bridgestone Corp. is boosting a capacity expansion under way since mid-2021 at its Camaçari, Brazil, passenger/light truck tire plant with an additional $53 million investment.
The new investment will focus on manufacturing improvements for tires for premium applications, including tires for electric/hybrid vehicles, the company said, and will create 126 new jobs on top of the 1,300 employed there now.
The new investment is in addition to $140 million Bridgestone budgeted in June 2021 to expand capacity by more than 20% over the 9,800 units/day rate at that time. The additonal investment will double that goal to 40%, the company said.
The investment will help introduce new manufacturing technologies and the growing application of industry 4.0 concepts, including artificial intelligence control technology that increases productivity and the application of knowledge and data in a digital manufacturing environment.
Vicente Marino, president of Bridgestone Latin America South, said the investment is "part of our strategic plan for sustainable growth in Brazil" and is considered a "major capability play" in Bridgestone's sustainable solutions journey.
Marino and Rui Costa, governor of the state of Bahia, announced the investment during a recent ceremony at the 16-year-old plant, which produces tires for passenger vehicles, vans and pickup trucks for original equipment manufacturers and replacement and export markets.
The capacity expansion will require some increase in the factory's footprint, but the company did not disclose at this time by how much.
Besides the Camaçari plant, Bridgestone do Brasil operates one other tire factory, in Santo André/Sao Paulo, and Bandag retread factories in Campinas and Mafra.
The investment aligns with Bridgestone's E8 Commitment that defines the eight values to which the company commits to co-creating together with society, its partners and customers toward a sustainable society.