Construction Underway at Bridgestone’s Hungarian BIRD Plant - Tire Review Magazine

Construction Underway at Bridgestone’s Hungarian BIRD Plant

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Bridgestone Europe has announced that work has started on in its Tatabanya, Hungary, high performance passenger and light trucks tyre plant.

Construction of the about 190 million euro complex is being financed and managed by Bridgestone Hungary Manufacturing Ltd. – a newly-formed subsidiary of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA – with completion due at the end of 2007.

Production is scheduled to reach more than 8,000 tyres a day by 2009. The company expects to employ more than 200 people by 2009.

The foundation stone was laid by Takashi Urano, president, CEO and chairman of Bridgestone Europe; JÓzsef VÁpÁr, director general of the ministry of economy and transport; MiklÓs HorvÁth, mayor of Kornye; and JÁnos Bencsik, mayor of Tatabanya, on June 8.

“This plant is vital for our European objective of steady, profitable growth” said Urano at the ceremony. “It is a showcase of advanced technology and a key asset in our strategy of focusing on high-value-added products in the extremely competitive European tyre market”.

For the first time in Europe, Bridgestone will deploy its new fully automated production system that has proved effective in Japan. Bridgestone’s automated system (known as BIRD – Bridgestone Innovative & Rational Development) is, according to the company, the most automated tyre production system in the world, automating the entire manufacturing sequence from processing raw materials through to inspecting finished tyres.

In addition to be almost twice as productive as existing systems, BIRD is said to give Bridgestone “major advantages” in flexibility and quality control. The new Hungarian plant will serve the growing European demand for high-performance, large rim-diameter passenger car tyres, as well as increase the group’s overall supply capacity. It will be the second Bridgestone plant in central Europe, after Poznan in Poland, and the group’s seventh in Europe.

The sale and distribution of Bridgestone tyres in Hungary is undertaken by Bridgestone Hungary Ltd., a key central-European subsidiary of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA. Established in 1994, Bridgestone Hungary supplies hundreds of commercial partners nationwide with the full range of Bridgestone premium tyres for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses, motorcycles, agricultural vehicles and off-road vehicles.

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