Bridgestone Corp of Japan plans to invest US$100m to build a new plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, which will make 2.6m passenger car tyres a year when production starts in September 2004. Most of the tyres will be exported to the US and Japan at first, but in three years about 80 per cent will be sold domestically.
In addition, Bridgestone will invest about US$50m to expand production capacity of tyres for trucks and buses at its existing factory in Shenyang, Liaoning province, from 330,000 to 1m within the next year. It will also expand production by 40 per cent at its Tianjin plant to 4.6m passenger car tyres.
The market for passenger car tyres in China stood at 25m units last year, according to Nikkei, and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10 per cent thereafter.