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Bridgestone resumes commercial production after quake

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The Bridgestone Group has announced its recovery plan in Japan following shutdowns as a result of Friday’s earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Japanese Bridgestone factories located in the Kanto region or north of that region include the Tochigi factory, the Nasu factory, the Kuroiso factory, the Tokyo factory and the Yokohama factory. Though there is no critical damage at the factories, there are some facilities or equipment damaged, and earthquake aftershocks have been following.
“Therefore, we always keep the words ‘safety first’ in our mind when we take actions for recovery,” the company states in a press release.

Bridgestone says that when restarting production, truck and bus tires (TBR) will be the first priority, taking into consideration that they are the commercial products required for the recovery of the devastated areas. Bridgestone also says it will cooperate with rolling blackouts while utilizing co-generation systems installed at each factory.

The Tochigi and Nasu plants have been scheduled to restart today, March 16, with a planned delivery restart of March 18. The Kuroiso factory has also been scheduled to restart today, but no delivery restart has yet been announced. The Tokyo factory restarted production March 15 with a planned delivery restart of March 16. The Yokohama factory has restarted partial production, and Bridgestone will determine when it can resume full production based on electricity restrictions.

The Tochigi and Tokyo plants produce passenger car tires, plus truck and bus tires. There are 1,096 workers at the Tochigi location and 1,033 at the Tokyo plant.

The Nasu factory makes passenger car and motorcycle tires and has 847 employees. The Kuroiso facility supplies steel cord for radial tires and beadwire for tires, with 657 workers.

The Bridgestone factory in Yokohama produces industrial products and construction materials. It employs 1,663 people.

Bridgestone established an emergency countermeasures office on March 14, headed by Masaaki Tsuya, chief risk-management officer, to accelerate the emergency countermeasures.

The Bridgestone Group expresses deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones as a result of the disaster.

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