Planning to pull away from its competitors, the Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone has said it will invest 7.75 billion euros over the next five years. It intends to increase production by building new factories in Mexico, Poland, Hungary and Japan and by expanding existing plants in India and Indonesia.
Bridgestone was the world’s number one tyre maker last year with 18.2% of the market. Michelin of France was a close second, with 17.7% and the US firm Goodyear just behind that with 17.3% according to the US trade magazine Tire Business.
One way that Bridgestone intends to boost its operating profit is by higher sales of such products as more expensive tyres for aircraft and the ultra-large ones fitted to giant vehicles for construction and open cast mining.
Competing with Michelin for the title of global industry leader, Bridgestone said: “Tyres are internationally recognised products, and unlike industries where regional differences matter, this industry is one where scale matters.”
However, the entire industry is under pressure in terms of profit from soaring prices for its raw materials – rubber and oil.