Tokyo -- Bridgestone Corp. has been given permission to build a new proving ground in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China. The facility is due west of Shanghai, about 200 km inland. Bridgestone said it will cover approximately 84 hectares. It is due to open, said Bridgestone, in June 2007.
The investment is about Euro 20 million and the unit will have about 6 permanent employees, according to Bridgestone. A company statement said having a proving ground near Shanghai means that, "Bridgestone can test tyres for original equipment and replacement specifically for the Chinese market, while enhancing the speed and efficiency of development assessment and performance verification there. The facility will also be used for local sales promotion activities and training exercises for people both inside and outside the company."
The new proving ground will be Bridgestone's eleventh worldwide, and will comprise, "a 900m straight track for high-speed performance tests and a curved track for handling and stability tests."
Going forward, said Bridgestone, the company "aims to strengthen its local research and development capabilities in line with rapid advancements in motorisation in China. With the objective of continuously expanding business in the region, Bridgestone will create a consistent system from development to production and sales to enable quick response to diverse needs in the Chinese market."