Bridgestone restarting some tire operations in Japan

Tire production has reportedly restarted in at least two Bridgestone facilities in Japan, with the other plants expected to come back online soon. However, the company reported that it will give priority to truck and bus tire production to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in the country.

“Though there is no critical damage at the factories, there are some facilities or equipment damaged, and earthquake aftershocks have been following,” the company stated in an update posted on its website.

The Nasu Factory, built in 1962, manufactures motorcycle tires for Bridgestone. It is located in Nasushiobara City in the Tochigi Prefecture, about 120 miles southwest of Sendai, the area hardest hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Two other plants in Nasoshiobara City provide production lines for passenger car tires, truck and bus tires, steel cord for radials and beadwire. Bridgestone also has manufacturing facilities in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Bridgestone said it will give priority to the production lines for truck and bus tires in the near term, “taking into consideration that they are the commercial products required for the recovery of the devastated areas,” the company noted.

The company has been complying with the rolling blackouts imposed by the Japanese government to conserve energy. “We will endeavor to minimize the impact of the blackouts through the full tuilization of co-generation systems which are I nstalled at each factory,” the company stated.

Posted by Mary Slepicka