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Military Coup Forces Some Companies to Suspend Operations; Impact on Tire Industry Unknown

(Akron/Tire Review) Tuesday’s military coup in Thailand, according to reports, has forced a number of companies to suspend operations.

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According to reports, a number of Japan-based companies were impacted, including electronics maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which halted the operations at its 21 Thai plants on Wednesday to ensure the safety of employees.

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Sony Corp., Sanyo Electric, Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and Sharp Corp. also suspended operations in Bangkok.

It is not known at this time what impact the coup and subsequent instability has had on tire and natural rubber operations in Thailand. Bridgestone has three plants in that country and is building a fourth. Michelin has three tire plants there, while Goodyear, Maxxis and Yokohama have one tire plant each in Thailand. There are also a number of Chinese makers with facilities there, as well as local firms.

There have been scattered reports that natural rubber plantations in Thailand remain unaffected.

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