Tokyo -- Bridgestone announced 14 Sept that it is investing $11.0 million (about Y1000 million) to build a plant to make moulded polyurethane foam for vehicle seats in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China.
The 20 000-sq.m plant, with 80 employees, will be operated by Bridgestone (Wuhan) Chemical Products Co. Ltd, set up in December 2010.
According to Bridgestone, preparations are currently under way to enable mass production of the foam parts to start in April 2012. The investment covers the buildings, installation of equipment, and start-up of production.
Annual capacity at Wuhan, which is about 700 km west of Shanghai, will be 300 000 sets of foam for car seats.
This plant will be Bridgestone's second for making foam for vehicle seats in China, adding to a plant in Guangzhou, China, making the same products.
Bridgestone said vehicle demand in China is expected to grow in the medium- to long-term, and this will in turn drive up demand for polyurethane foam for seats.
"By strengthening its supply systems in China, Bridgestone will enhance its ability to quickly deliver these high-quality products to this growing market," a company statement said.