TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. is is planning to increase capacity for premium motorcycle tires at its plant in Nasu, Japan, in a $12.5 million, four-year investment project.
As part of the move, Bridgestone said it will be "gradually expanding" capacity at the 60-year-old factory to produce an additional 90,000 "premium" Battlax-branded motorcycle tires per year by 2026.
The move is in line with a program to rationalize production and will strengthen the group's position in the area of premium racing tires.
Bridgestone said it will be employing technologies acquired and refined during its participation at MotoGP between 2002 and 2015 and most recently the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship.
Bridgestone did not say what the Nasu plant's current motorcycle tire capacity is. The plant, in Tochigi Prefecture north of Tokyo, also produces passenger, light truck, farm and industrial tires. Overall capacity is shown as 24,000-plus tires a day, according to the
Tire Business Global Tire Report. This latest capacity expansion announcement complements ongoing investments in premium passenger tire manufacturing at company factories in Tochigi, Hikone, Hofu and Tosu plants.
This initiative, with a collective investment of more than $60 million over three years, will result in a capacity expansion of about 6,200 tires a day by 2025, Bridgestone said, or roughly a 10% expansion at the four factories.
Bridgestone Corp. also in the midst of four-year, $94 million investment project at its Shimonoseki, Japan, off-the-road tire plant to make that facility "greener" in terms of renewable energy use and cleaner handling of waste water.
This production capacity expansions were decided based on the recognition that to reinforce structure to "produce" premium products of passenger car tires plants in Japan, which are the core to master manufacturing, is essential to such initiatives.
The projects fit into Bridgestone's current premium business strategy to produce and sell high value-added "Dan-Totsu Products"* in its core business, as described in its current mid-term business plan (2021-23), disclosed in February 2021.