Bridgestone SA will invest R700 million in its manufacturing plant in Brits to expand its capacity by 26 per cent and produce run-flat tyres that will to be fitted on BMW SA's export models.

The Bridgestone SA manufacturing plant in Brits will get a healthy injection of R700 million, boosting plans to join the global tyre market.

Bridgestone SA vice-president of sales and marketing Shaun Wustmann said yesterday that the investment signalled the Japanese parent company's confidence that the South African operation is capable of producing tyres of a global quality at competitive prices.

While the Brits plant produced passenger and light commercial vehicle, as well as truck steel belt tyres for the local market, the upgrade positions it to take advantage of future export opportunities.

Bridgestone SA's parent company has already invested R210 million in improvements at the Brits plant over the past two years. A further R450 million would be pumped into the plant in the next three years.

Takashi Wada, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone SA, said the latest investment would create about 70 new jobs in the short term. The Brits plant would join the Japanese and Polish plants in becoming the only three Bridgestone plants in the world with the technology to produce run-flat tyres.

Original article from Car