Bridgestone’s plant in Hungary has grown triple in ten years - VIDEO REPORT

Bridgestone’s plant in Hungary has grown triple in ten years - VIDEO REPORT

Melinda Tolopcsik, President & General Manager, Bridgestone Tatabánya Manufacturing

Bridgestone to implement the largest investment program of its history in Hungary: in the 2013 – 2020 period, they are making a HUF 85 billion (EUR 274 million) investment in several phases. The Japanese company's plant in Tatabánya is one of the most modern among the 180 factories around the world, while its area has tripled in the past decade (144,400 m2) and its capacity is expanding fourfold of the original by 2020 (7.2 million tires per year).

The main activities of Bridgestone, having its headquarters in Tokyo, are the production and development of tires, which makes up 80% of its products; while the rest is rubber parts of vehicles, industrial rubber products, chemicals, and sports products. Bridgestone has more than 180 factories and R&D centres in 26 countries, and its tires are sold in 150 countries. According to 2017 data, the company employs more than 142,000 people globally.

In Hungary, Bridgestone's main activities include the manufacturing of tires and tubes, primarily for premium-category vehicles, with high speed index, of Bridgestone and Firestone types, more than 230 sizes, and about 5 million pieces per year.

In the past decade, the Japanese company invested about EUR 430 million in the construction and technological development of the second plant of the factory in Tatabánya, thus being one of the most modern plants internationally. Bridgestone was the first in the world to use a new type of mixer producing more consistent quality rubber material at its unit in Tatabánya; furthermore, this is the first factory in Europe – after Japan – to use artificial intelligence technology, measuring and analysing the quality of tires at 480 points. Further unique features are the storehouse with a capacity of 70,000 tires, ensuring the transportation and storage of tires before vulcanization; and the final inspection and packaging system.

In the frames of this investment of EUR 29.5 million – as a part of a program until 2020, – a new storehouse is constructed in addition to dressing areas and education rooms, increasing the total storage capacity to 600,000 tires; while production will also be enhanced, well on the way to the capacity of 7.2 million tires per year which was targeted for 2020 – fourfold of the capacity of ten years ago. The expansion affects also the number of employees, growing to 1300 with the 100 new jobs; confirming the company's position in Komárom-Esztergom county as one of the major employers.