Tokyo (April 5, 2010) - Bridgestone Corporation announced today that it has advanced the start of its expansion of production capacity (the 2nd phase expansion) at its Kitakyushu plant from April 2010, three months ahead of schedule. The 2nd phase expansion for large and ultralarge off-the-road radial tires for construction and mining vehicles (“large and ultralarge ORR tires”), previously announced on October 22, 2007, was originally scheduled to begin July 2010.
Kitakyushu Plant began production of large and ultralarge ORR tires in June 2009. Large and ultralarge ORR tires, which Bridgestone considers to be “strategic products,” utilize the Bridgestone Group’s advanced technological capabilities and have earned excellent reputations in their markets. Due to increasing global demand for and production of mineral resources, in the medium-to-long term, this demand is expected to continue to grow. Because of these market conditions, Bridgestone accelerated its preparations and started the 2nd phase expansion three months ahead of schedule in April 2010, so that it could more rapidly meet the needs of its customers.
Going forward, Bridgestone will continue the 2nd phase expansion and it expects that, by the second half of 2012, when the expansion is planned to be completed, the output of the plant will be approximately 80 tons per day. Bridgestone is committed to enhancing its lineup of strategic products, including large and ultralarge ORR tires, and will further increase its efforts to supply products that satisfy its customers’ needs.