$220 million tyre plant

Bridgestone is to build a $220 million plant in Monterrey, Mexico to manufacture passenger and light truck tyres, primarily for the North American market.

The facility will be the first of the company’s plants outside Japan to make use of its fully automated BIRD (Bridgestone Innovative and Rational Development) system that completely automates all stages of tyre manufacturing, from the initial processing of materials to final inspection of finished products.

In addition, the new facility will be capable of producing several different types and sizes of tyres simultaneously.

Work on the plant is expected to begin in the near future. It is expected to become fully operational in July 2007, and, once up and running, it will have a production capacity of about 8,000 tyres per day and employ about 200 people.

The new facility will be the 49th tyre plant in the global Bridgestone Group of companies, and the third such plant located in Mexico. The two existing plants are located in Mexico City and Cuernavaca.