Bridgestone to invest in Italian tire plant
ERJ staff report (PR)
Bari, Italy – Bridgestone Corp. has signed a deal with Italy’s inward investment agency Invitalia, which will see the Japanese group redevelop its “at-risk” tire plant in Modugno, Bari, which employs about 800 people.
The tire maker is to invest around €41.2m in the project, of which €12.4m will be funded by Invitalia under a grant scheme to encourage multinationals to invest in parts of southern Italy.
Under the development agreement, Bridgestone is to modernise the plant: investing €38.6m in new machinery, plant and equipment. Another €2.6m is to be spent on improvements to buildings and logistics facilities at the site.
This will enable the production of new general use tires, with the goal of producing 3.5 million by the end of 2016, said a statement from Invitalia. The plant has previously produced HP and UHP tires.
The investment is based on an agreement signed last September to secure the future of the plant in Modugno within Bridgestone, noted Roberto Mauro, CEO of Bridgestone Italian Manufacturing.
To pursue this goal, Mauro said, it will be “crucial to continue the joint efforts of [Bridgestone], workers, local, regional and national associations and trade unions, as well as raising general levels productivity and competitiveness of the plant and the achievement of pre-established levels of production costs."