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Bridgestone reopens China TBR plant

(At the opening ceremony of Bridgestone Corp.’s Shenyang plant are (left to right): Yi Li, deputy director of Shenyang Municipal Bureau of Foreign Trade &Economic Cooperation; Hua Luan, deputy director general of Liaoning Provincial Bureau of Foreign Trade &Economic Cooperation; Bingzhe Yan, secretary of CPC Shenyang Municipal Tiexi District Committee; Zhiou Guan, vice mayor of the People’s Government of Shenyang City; Kazuhisa Nishigai, COO and representative board member of Bridgestone Corp; Narumi Zaitsu, senior vice president and Bridgestone board member; Hirotaka Migita, president of Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd.; and Daisaku Kondo, president of Bridgestone (Shenyang) Tire Co. Ltd.)

Bridgestone Corp. has completed the relocation of its Shenyang truck and bus radial factory to a site in Shenyang Chemical Industry Park, finishing a process started in January 2013.

Bridgestone budgeted $300 million to relocate the Bridgestone (Shenyang) Tire Co. Ltd. truck tire plant, which opened originally in 1995 and had become “landlocked” by urban growth in Shenyang.

Bridgestone took advantage of the move, which was made “in accordance with Shenyang City development policies,” to boost the plant’s capacity by a third to about 5,000 tires a day.

The new plant occupies 4.25 million square feet, Bridgestone said, while employment grew about 10 percent to 1,325. Shenyang Chemical Industry Park is part of the Shenyang Economic and Technological Development Zone southwest of Shenyang proper.

Kazuhisa Nishigai, COO and representative board member of Bridgestone, said at a ceremony held to mark the plant’s operning: “China is one of Bridgestone’s key markets, with a huge demand for (truck/bus radial) tires. We aim to develop our Shenyang plant into one of Bridgestone’s key plants, to contribute to the growth of the local market and customers’ needs.”

The factory was opened originally by Shenyang Santai Tire Co. Ltd.; Bridgestone bought the plant in stages, starting with a 60-percent share in 1999.

Group Michelin went through a similar relocation, opening in January 2013 a $1.5 billion manufacturing complex in Shenyang that eventually will be producing more than 12 million car, light truck and medium truck/bus tires a year.

Michelin started production of truck radials in February 2013 at a plant built in Shenyang’s Economic and Technological Development Zone.

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