Monterrey, Mexico -- Bridgestone Corp. will inaugurate production 7 Nov at its new $220 million tyre factory in Monterrey that uses the company's proprietary BIRD (Bridgestone Innovative and Rational Development) manufacturing system.
The plant, Bridgestone's third in Mexico and 47th worldwide, comes on stream with a nameplate capacity of 8 000 passenger and light truck tyres a day, primarily in larger rim-diameter, high-performance styles. Employment at start-up was slated to be 200, according to earlier statements.
The BIRD process automates all stages of tyre making, from materials processing to final inspection, according to the company. The system also makes it possible to produce several different types and sizes of the tyres simultaneously. It is the first Bridgestone plant outside of Japan to use the system.
The plant, operated by a new Bridgestone Americas Holdings Inc. subsidiary, Bridgestone Neumaticos de Monterrey SA, complements Bridgestone Firestone de Mexico SA de CV's operations in Mexico City and Cuernavaca.
Bridgestone Americas Chairman and CEO Mark Emkes and Nuevo Leon Gov. JosÃ© Natividad GonzÃ¡lez ParÃ¡s are scheduled to be on hand for the opening ceremony.
â€œOpening this plant in Monterrey, an ideal location to serve our customers, is an important component of the Bridgestone group's global sourcing strategy to meet the needs of our customers now and in the future,â€ Emkes said on the eve of the ceremony.
â€œThis partnership is a testament to our region's high quality workforce, which is helping Nuevo Leon State become a thriving investment destination,â€ ParÃ¡s said.
Bridgestone broke ground for the plant in the first quarter of 2005.
This is the second Bridgestone plant to come on stream this year, after the truck/bus tyre factory in Huizhou, China. The firm also has three more plants under construction, in Hungary, Poland and Japan, due on stream in the next two years.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)