Bridgestone Americas, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, is announcing $190 million to renovate and expand its tire manufacturing facility in Belén de Heredia, Costa Rica. This investment is in addition to more than $60 million planned for 2022-2026. In total, the subsidiary of the Japanese tire and rubber giant will spend over $250 million at the plant over the five-year period.
The investment will allow the company to expand its facilities at the Belén de Heredia plant and boost its production capacity by up to 36 percent by 2026, adding more than 160 new permanent jobs.
Alfonso Zendejas, President of Bridgestone Latin America North, Bridgestone Americas
Alfonso Zendejas, President of Bridgestone Latin America North, Bridgestone Americas said, “This investment strengthens Bridgestone’s commitment to Costa Rica as a strategic location for local and global business activities and further contributes to our ability to maximize value for all of our stakeholders.”
The Belén de Heredia plant started operations in 1967 and produces tires for passenger vehicles, vans, and trucks for domestic and export markets; and has around 1,000 employees.
In addition to the tire plant, Bridgestone maintains the operation of its Bridgestone Business Services in Heredia with more than 500 employees, the Firestone Industrial Products manufacturing plant in Turrialba, which has around 250 employees, and more recently, a new business unit for trading activities that operates under the Free Trade Zone, with around 100 employees.
The recently announced investment aligns with the strategic plan for sustainable growth that the company has been implementing in recent years to expand the businesses that operate in the Latin American country. From 2020 to date, Bridgestone Costa Rica has invested more than $38.5 million, of which $36 million has been earmarked for modernization and efficiency projects for the tire manufacturing plant, $2 million for the expansion of the plant in Turrialba, and $0.5 million to strengthen the operations of the Bridgestone Business Services.
Celso Villalva, vice president of Latin American Manufacturing, Bridgestone Americas
Commenting on the investment, Celso Villalva, vice president of Latin American Manufacturing, Bridgestone Americas, said, “At Bridgestone, we believe in the great potential of the Latin American market, as well as the high levels of quality and reliability of the local workforce. Thanks to the trust of the corporation and the daily commitment of our teammates, Latin America will remain one of the most outstanding regions for the company worldwide.”
“With the expansion of the plant, we will be able to continue to meet the current and future needs of our customers, focusing on the production of premium tires for domestic and export markets and sustainable solutions with products that will be ready for the digital age,” explained Pablo Jiménez, Manufacturing Director of Bridgestone Costa Rica, Bridgestone Americas.
The expansion of its plant in Costa Rica supports the Bridgestone E8 commitment that places sustainability at the center of its strategy and consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment). The expansion project highlights the values of “Extension”, “Economy” and “Ecology,” since it includes the adoption of new machines and manufacturing technologies, as well as the replacement of two fuel-oil boilers with electrical ones, resulting in more efficient production with zero carbon emissions, the company explained