ERJ staff report (TB)
Brussels, Belgium (March 4, 2013) – Bridgestone Corporation will close its passenger tire plant in Bari, Italy, by early 2014, reports Tire Business.
The closure is in line with the company's increased emphasis on premium-segment products.
The plant, opened by Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1962, makes predominantly low-range car tires, a segment that increasingly is being served by imports from companies based in emerging nations, which have cost-competitive advantages, Bridgestone said.
The plant produces approximately 21,000 tires a day with 950 employees.
Bridgestone stressed that the decision to close the factory was made after a "thorough analysis of all possible alternatives," but none of these was considered feasible.
The decision will not affect other group entities in Europe, including the Bridgestone Technical Centre Europe S.p.A. near Rome and the sales office of Bridgestone Italia S.p.A., in Agrate Brianza, near Monza. Bridgestone also has tire factories in France, Hungary, Poland and Spain.